Access All Areas
Improving kiosk usability
Several hundred thousand bank and ticket vending machines are installed in Europe. These self-service terminals are an important point of contact for millions of people every day. Readers of KIOSK EUROPE should certainly be aware of their importance. The EU is now funding a project worth millions to facilitate access to such services.
The operation of terminals via touch-screen displays - the so-called user interface - is perceived as having substantial optimisation potential. Hoeft & Wessel has been awarded the contract to develop this software for ticket vending machines. This consitutes being responsible for the experience of the many users of the public transport network in Europe.
The total lifetime of the international project, which has been given the snappy title of APSIS4all (Accessible Personalised Services In Public Digital Terminals for all) is three years, including the trial phase. The German pilot project is being carried out under the overall supervision of Hoeft & Wessel. The software developed for the almex.station ticketing kiosks is being tested in collaboration with the PaderSprinter transport company, headquartered in Paderborn, Germany. Other participants include a national German pressure group for the socially disadvantaged, SoVD (Sozialverband Deutschland), which represents the users, as well as the Austrian company CURE, specialists in the field of interface design. An initial test is scheduled for 2012.
The objective of the project is to enable senior citizens or people with impaired mobility to have enhanced access to self-service terminals. It is hoped that this will encourage these groups to use the facilities more.
It should become even easier for passengers to operate the terminals in future. Customers will be given a SmartCard featuring RFID technology, which will have individual screen and operating parameters saved onto it. Once the data is scanned, the software ensures that the font size, colour and contrast of the user interface are adjusted to the large touch-screen display of the kiosks, in line with the profile saved to the card in question. The kiosks thus automatically adapt to the personal needs and preferences of each individual passenger. Ticket purchase can also be supported using an NFC-enabled smart phone.
The new software substantially reduces the information which needs to be entered by the passenger. This development is intended to make it considerably easier to operate public self-service terminals and should lead to further improvements in the level of user-friendliness. This will make public transport services more attractive and will also give disadvantaged members of the community increased mobility opportunities.
Friday, July 29, 2011