Our Self Service Technology Blog

You’ve decided it’s time to make your museum more engaging, and you think interactive kiosks may be the way to do that. You are ready to embark upon a museum kiosk design project. But where to begin?

You could opt to use self-service kiosks for basic info, ticketing, wayfinding, interactive exhibits and even guided tours. There are countless options and lots of decisions to make. Luckily, you have three big things going for you:

  1. External Expertise: Lots of smart people have researched and thought about the best ways to implement museum kiosks. The CEO of interUX compiled a literature review of their findings.
  2. Internal Expertise: You and/or the people you work with are professional curators. That means you have a lot of experience weeding through mountains of possibilities to select the assets your visitors will most enjoy.
  3. You’ve got us! Advanced Kiosks has in-house engineers, decades of self-service technology experience, and the Advanced Kiosks Advantage.

Your tool belt is fully loaded. Let’s take a look at some of the macro issues you’ll want to consider:

How Do I Make Sure People Use My Museum Kiosks?

First, be clear about your museum’s mission and how interactive kiosks fit into that mission. You don’t want some random, yet glitzy tech marvel stealing the show from your main attractions. The kiosk hardware you select should fit your overall aesthetic. The content your kiosks provide should enhance your exhibits, get visitors excited about what they’re seeing and empower them to go deeper, learn more.

When you are confident your kiosks belong in your space, effective museum kiosk design becomes that much easier. You can start getting strategic about where they should be placed for maximum traffic flow and integration with your exhibits. You will also want to be sure they are eye-catching and their purpose is clear. With plenty of styles, colors and custom vinyl wraps, it’s easy to get your museum kiosks the attention they deserve. We’ll help you make sure the user interface is inviting and there is plenty of signage to encourage people to interact with the machine, even if it’s in power-saving mode.

Gerald Hines Exhibit Kiosk

Integrate, Integrate, Integrate

In today’s digital world, no one tech feature can be all things to all people (not even a computer kiosk). The heavy lifting of museum kiosk design is really figuring out how all your technology should fit together. How your digital signage points to your interactive kiosks points to your web presence and translates to mobile devices. QR codes and text messaging are both great ways kiosks can relay existing information to your visitors’ smartphones. Users can determine the best way to get from Point A to Point B on a 55” touchscreen Monolith Kiosk and then have turn-by-turn directions sent to their cell phones. Interactive digital exhibits can offer augmented reality apps for people to carry with them throughout your museum and even beyond the exit doors.

“How in the world do I make all that happen?” you ask. You will be amazed at how much our Zamok Software Suite (included with every kiosk we ship) can help you accomplish. We have a host of turnkey solutions, but the beauty of working with Advanced Kiosks is our brilliant engineering minds who happen to be expert self-service integrators. If we don’t have a product that does exactly what you need it to do, we’ll create one for you!

How Do I Maximize My ROI?

This should be another main consideration of your museum kiosk design. Fortunately, interactive kiosks offer a variety of ways to maximize your investments. First and foremost, that dynamic web presence you’ve been cultivating? Now it can be accessed by all your visitors, regardless of age, language or technical ability. All your web content, including interactive digital exhibits, can be repurposed as kiosk content. Zamok’s Homepage and Layout Solutions make it simple for you to create engaging, easy-to-use interfaces that take visitors right to the content they want. And Zamok ensures your kiosks are locked down on your content; no Facebook browsing allowed!

You can repurpose, but you can also rebrand. As exhibits come and go, you can swap out graphics and easily change the look and feel of your kiosks (homepage, screensavers, etc.) to keep up with the times. Because our Zamok software system is cloud-based, all your updates can be made remotely; no need to run around to each of your machines . . . unless you want to. Advanced Kiosks is all about options. Depending on your budget, the scope of your project and your tech comfort level, some of our kiosk models offer poster space for a low-tech, but still effective approach to freshening your look.

Brainstorm ways your kiosks can help you extend your reach by encouraging existing visitors to return and recruiting new visitors. Zamok offers a customer feedback/survey tool to help you improve performance. It can also collect visitor reviews into a digital guest book filled with testimonials your marketing team will love to publish far and wide. Today’s consumers value feedback/stars/ratings from those who have come before; so give them the rave reviews they crave. We helped one client design a program for visitors to send digital postcards from the museum to friends and family. Talk about a cheap and effective referral system: “Having a great time! Wish you were here!”

There are a number of ways to get the most from a museum kiosk, including:

  • Membership sign-ups
  • Donations and contributions
  • Surveys and feedback
  • Special event promotions

With the Zamok kiosk software, the possibilities are vast and can be configured to accommodate the unique needs of each organization.

Advanced Options & Support

As you begin to flesh out your museum kiosk design, please remember, the possibilities really are endless. From credit card readers to printers, biometrics, phone chargers and VoIP, we feature an overwhelming array of options and peripherals. But don’t let all the options overwhelm you. Just look at them as our little way of saying, “If you can dream it, we can build it.”

In fact, reach out today and let us help you dream it AND build it. Most Advanced Kiosks clients are so impressed with our design and implementation work, they happily sign up for our world-class Advanced Support. But don’t take our word for it; see for yourself. Bring us on to help you curate, and we guarantee you’ll want to keep us around for continued maintenance and innovation – year after year, exhibit after exhibit.

 

Written by Amy Robison, contributing author

 

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