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To touch or not to touch – that is the question

Posted: December 29, 2008 at 2:10 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)


In this current day and age, quite a number of technologies are now using touch screens.  For example, gaming consoles such as the Nintendo DS, Mobile phones (iphone, blackberry storm, various PDA’s) are all using some form of touch screen technology to further increase the interaction between the user and the device.

Why interact with digital signage?

The main reason why businesses would want to interact with their customers through digital signage are:

  • To provide targeted and specific information to the viewer e.g. Medical surveys whilst conducting eye sight tests.
  • Traffic analytics – to understand how many people interact with the system. One system that I could think of is a Health Checking system. A weight scale connected to a digital signage system could potentially be setup to perform the following:

– The system will request for the persons age and then it will measure and display their weight

– Based on the information gathered, the system will then display the recommended weight and potential health related problems associated to the persons weight.

– Obviously at the same time, there will be an area for advertising and this space can be sold to businesses in the health industry.

  • Any form of relationship requires a two way communication – to connect and build a strong relationship with your customers or clients you need to basically involve them in the decision making process. So if it’s to buy a new car, a digital signage signage solution at the car dealership should have the ability for the potential buyer to modify the colour or shape of the car as this can influence their purchasing decision.

So now the question is whether you should use touch screens in your current digital signage deployments. We cannot provide you with the answer to this question but what is important is to understand what the clients requirements are and then to assess whether a touch screen meets these requirements, but most importantly if you are planning to use touch screen technology in your digital signage solution, make sure you thoroughly look into the system usability i.e how can people interact with the system. Here are some examples from a youtube user that shows unusable touch screen systems – she refers to them as the “Usability Hall of Shame”:

For more Digital Signage Videos visit the Digital Signage Portal.

My prediction is that touch screens will become part of the standard deployment for any future digital signage projects as we have seen touch screens mainly used for way finding, product catalogs, directories and gaming but is this all digital signage touch screens can be used for?

Feel free to submit your answer as a comment.


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