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December 4, 2014
The first step in choosing a kiosk,is to determine the exact purpose for the structure.
When considering a design, start by listing the functions that your staff must perform and the purpose for having the kiosk. An attendant might be welcoming the public, providing information, selling tickets, accepting payments, controlling access, directing traffic, safeguarding property, or any combination. Consider all the people that will be using the building, including your customers.
Functionality can also be affected by the requirements of various stakeholders within your organization. For example: Security (protection of people and property); Marketing (corporate image and branding); HR (employee welfare).
If you are not sure about what features to include in your kiosk, ask your builder. An experienced builder can help you determine the best design options for your project.
Your building needs are the foundation. Make sure to get this clear and get any necessary reviews or approvals. Knowing this will speed up the process and help the building planner with the design process.
Now that the functions of the kiosk and attendant have been determined, you can begin with step #2 – creating a workable layout. Many builders offer standard, “off-the-shelf” kiosks. These standard structures give you a basic kiosk in a range of sizes. However, the chances they will meet all your needs (if you’ve done a proper evaluation) is low. More often than not, a customized configuration is required.
This is the ideal time to work with an experienced kiosk manufacturer to review your functional needs to create a floor plan with layout and elevations. The best results come from meetings where everyone, including the kiosk attendants, has input.
Key discussion points to establish the proper design and functionality include: overall physical size (internal and external), site orientation, proximity to existing buildings and traffic flow. You will also want to consider safe exit (door locations), counter height/size, chair height, fitments such as cash drawers and safes or other cashiers equipment, transaction windows, visibility concerns, solar reflectivity concerns, electrical requirements, heating, cooling, ventilation, task lighting, exterior lighting, washrooms and personal storage.
For example, if you need a toll booth that can service cars and transport trucks, you’ll need “bi-level” design. Options like cash drawers, safes, heavy-duty sliding doors, windows, cabinets, and counters mean your staff can work productively and securely.
There are really no stock answers, but a flexible, experienced kiosk manufacturer can customize their product to suit the installation. Ask your builder what they recommend, including which features are included, popular choices, or custom options.
A content employee is generally a productive one, and for many reasons, it is prudent to consider workplace ergonomics in the design process as step #3.
Everything from the chair and counter to transaction window heights and reach should be evaluated to best suit the individuals who will be using the building. A raised stool and high counter may call for a built-in adjustable foot rest. If attendants are required to stand, they would be happy to have a well-positioned hip pad or elbow rest. Even the proper positioning of the kiosk on its island (and the island on the lot) can aid in reducing awkward reaching, repetitive strain and potential discomfort that may occur.
Often, kiosks are located a lengthy distance from the main buildings. If space and services are available and the budget permits, a washroom is integral to minimal service disruption at the kiosk.
At night, your attendant may feel more comfortable and secure having the ability to reduce interior glare by turning off the kiosk lights and working with a built-in dimmable task light. This reduces reflection and provides a clearer view of the darkened surroundings.
Remember, a happy employee is usually a productive one.
To create a great first impression, a kiosk must make a positive visual statement. Just like front line staff, your kiosk should also be “dressed for success” to meet and greet your clients and the public. Step #4 highlights want you need to consider to put your best foot forward.
Many standardized product components can be applied to today’s kiosks to greatly enhance the appearance. Simple options such as exterior cladding panels, colored frame coating, custom roof designs, parapets, stone/stucco finishes, spandrel and tinted glass treatments are available. The choice of finishes is almost endless.
As a part of the evaluation process to finalize the design and create cost estimates, your kiosk manufacturer should ideally conduct a site assessment to identify elements that can impact the design, including structural. For example increased roof loading due to drifting snow from an adjacent hi-rise can affect building requirements. Your builder should also be checking for architectural features and finishes that could be integrated to blend with the environment. The kiosk supplier can provide you with a no- or low-cost colored 3D rendering, illustrating the anticipated appearance of your kiosk in its proposed setting.
At this stage, you have an opportunity to adjust the design to suit your preferences. So put the same thought into its visual appearance as you would the rest of your property.
Pre-qualify a supplier based on their prior experiences, reputation, and any references they might have.
This gives you the opportunity to include their design team as an integral part of the project. Alternatively, you can engage an architect to help you if you have several functions that need to be met.
When selecting a manufacturer to work with you either during design development or afterwards, here are a number of criteria to help you determine which manufacturer is right for you:
Flexibility: The manufacturer should take into consideration all of your needs when creating the kiosk.
Experience: Look for solid product design and fabrication background, including references from similar projects.
Cost effectiveness: “Value” is not just the up-front cost, but includes projecting a specific corporate image,
extending the kiosk life cycle or improving the productivity of the attendant. Make sure the manufacturer has put together the best “value” package for you to suit your needs and your budget.
Product Design & Identification: The product must meet your local design/code requirements, (i.e., snow load, wind load, appropriate electrical or plumbing inspections, proper anchoring methods, etc.).