You can have the newest, most cutting-edge touch screen available, but if you don't have the right software running on it, it's not going to do you or your client much good. The touchscreen software that you're running determines what the touchscreen actually does, and different screens used for different purposes require capabilities that are defined on the software level. The software you're using on the backend determines what shows up on the screen, how it displays, and what built-in features of the hardware it can leverage.
It's important to understand, then, what you're looking for in a software package when you're coming up with a touch screen-related campaign. Asking yourself the following questions will guide you to picking the right software solution.
Can the software actually tell your story?
We've all installed a software package to try to pinch hit on a design project, only to find that the product we were using was missing that one feature that could make the end result look like we needed it to look. When building out a touchscreen-based campaign, you run the risk of a similar mishap if you pick the wrong software.
It all comes down to a software package that enables effective information architecture. If you have a piece of software that is displaying content that doesn't tell the brand's story, your client's audience is not going to get the point of the campaign. The software has to be able to walk your audience through the information in a way that's intuitive and makes sense.
So aim for choosing a software package that will let you create, upload and display the kind of content you want in the way that you want it. Don't get software built out for another purpose and try to work around its limitations. At best you'll get something that doesn't display quite right, at worst you'll hit a wall when you've already invested tons of time, energy, and money into the implementation.
Can it support more than one user at a time?
If you're setting up an interactive experience that is designed to be used by lots of people simultaneously, like a large video wall at an event, multi-user support is a box you are going to need to check. After all, you need to allow each person interacting with the display to take part in their own completely unique user experience, regardless of the fact that they're watching along with others.
Does it have the right analytics capabilities?
What appears on the screen is obviously an important part of any campaign or project for which you're implementing a touch screen. But what happens on the campaign's back end us just as important. Being able to capture relevant data about customer interactions with each screen you're using is critical in evaluating whether your campaign is a success or a failure. Different software packages offer different ways to capture and parse data. When you're making your choice, be sure that it's not just the public-facing side of your software package that does what you need it to, but that the software is capturing the information you want to know and turning it into insights you can use.
Does it provide a way for the user to take the next step?
The best touchscreen marketing interactions are complete experiences. That means they don't let the user just walk away from a kiosk or video wall – they set the stage for the next brand interaction. A good software package will allow users to enter their contact information, and even point them to a survey about their experience or interests or to a place where they can describe the ups and downs of their interaction with the brand. Brands can use these types of features creatively, at the apex of a smart and well-strategized content path, to encourage the customer to take the next step towards an ongoing relationship with the brand.
Image via Istock.com
/ Casey Dubbs, Marketing Manager for Horizon Display. Casey is a classic over-achiever who likes to get the job done right and can’t stand when things are left unfinished or with unmet potential. She is passionate about implementing others’ vision into reality. When she is not obsessing over marketing, she can be found on Pinterest trying to find recipes everyone in her family will eat.