How to Create a DIY Kiosk on the Cheap For Your Small Business

As a small business owner you recognize the value of self-service because it allows you to serve more customers with minimal staffing overhead.

In this article I’m going to give you the components to piece together a very economical do-it-yourself kiosk for your small business or startup for under $1000.

This example will cover a single DIY kiosk deployment, but could certainly be scaled to support a handful of kiosks.

Cheap kiosk for small business

Continue reading “How to Create a DIY Kiosk on the Cheap For Your Small Business”

How to Dramatically Increase Your Kiosk Applications Performance with Local Caching – Part 2

smart_clientIf your kiosk regularly synchronizes data with a remote server then you may have the opportunity to dramatically improve your kiosks performance by making use of your kiosks local storage.  By caching data locally it allows your kiosk to respond more quickly to user input by reducing the amount of time your kiosk spends waiting on a response from the server.

In the second part of this 2-part series I’ll cover a couple cool options for persistent local storage in the web browser.  In part one I covered the benefits of caching data locally on your kiosk, the sort of data you’ll want to cache and some helpful tips for caching.

The three main advantages of caching data locally on your kiosk

  1. Increases the responsiveness of your kiosk
  2. Reduces the load on your server
  3. Lowers bandwidth requirements

Continue reading “How to Dramatically Increase Your Kiosk Applications Performance with Local Caching – Part 2”

How to Dramatically Increase Your Kiosk Applications Performance with Local Caching – Part 1

smart_clientIf your kiosk regularly synchronizes data with a remote server then you may have the opportunity to dramatically improve your kiosks performance by making use of your kiosks local storage.  By caching data locally it allows your kiosk to respond more quickly to user input by reducing the amount of time your kiosk spends waiting on a response from the server.

In the first part of this 2-part series I’m going to cover the benefits of caching data locally on your kiosk, the sort of data you’ll want to cache and some helpful tips for caching.  In part two I’ll cover a couple cool options for persistent local storage in the web browser. Continue reading “How to Dramatically Increase Your Kiosk Applications Performance with Local Caching – Part 1”

5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Dispensing Cash from Your Kiosks

Dispense cash from your kiosk with a bill recycler
Dispense cash from your kiosk like a human cashier with a bill recycler

Now that you’ve decided to dispense cash from your kiosk with a bill recycler I want to make you aware of the pitfalls to avoid. Dispensing cash can be invaluable for making change to your customers like a human cashier, but also introduces several new challenges which we’ll address in this article.

Most people familiar with bill acceptors think of a bill recycler as simply an add-on component which dispenses cash, but this is far from the case.

Dispensing bills greatly increases the complexity of the device and the logic required by your kiosk application in order to gracefully complete a cash transaction.

Don’t worry, all of these challenges can be overcome with careful planning and the reduced cashier expenses will be well worth the investment. Continue reading “5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Dispensing Cash from Your Kiosks”

5 Design Tips for Creating Massively Scalable Kiosk Applications

5 Design Tips for Creating Massively Scalable Kiosk ApplicationsCreating a kiosk application capable of scaling from a handful of kiosks at a single location, up to thousands of kiosks spread across multiple regions requires that you design for scalability from day one.  As a kiosk application developer, I’ve witnessed too many startup companies become so focused on getting to market in the shortest possible timeframe that they completely neglect designing for scalability.  As their customer base grows they begin deploying kiosks at multiple locations and their server load increases.  Then they’re surprised to find out that their kiosks don’t perform well on a larger scale.  This is because a scalable design doesn’t happen by accident, it requires careful planning and a time investment upfront or else you’ll end up needing a major overhaul of your kiosk application as your customer base grows.

My goal for this article is to help you design your kiosk applications to be capable of handling massive growth by outlining the major principles of a scalable kiosk application. Continue reading “5 Design Tips for Creating Massively Scalable Kiosk Applications”

Serving the Self-Service Kiosk Niche – How We Do It

I wanted to outline the three major ways our company serves the self-service kiosk niche for those who aren’t familiar with our small software company.

Most of the value we generate comes from one of the following activities:

  • Creating free instructional and thought provoking content
  • Developing innovative kiosk software solutions
  • Delivering unparalleled customer and developer support
Our small, but passionate development team
Our small, but passionate development team

Continue reading “Serving the Self-Service Kiosk Niche – How We Do It”

How to Choose the Right Kiosk Clients – 22 Useful Vetting Questions

partnershipWhen a potential client reaches out to us to discuss their kiosk project I typically ask them a series of questions to determine if we’re a good fit for their project.  My first objective is to understand their goals and requirements and my second objective is to determine if they have sufficient budget for what they want.

The goal of these questions is to get a feel for the scope of their kiosk project and create a very broad range estimate so I can vet the client.  Feel free to use these questions in your sales process. Continue reading “How to Choose the Right Kiosk Clients – 22 Useful Vetting Questions”

How to Design a Responsive Kiosk User Interface – Part 2

database_designDeveloping a kiosk user interface that’s both responsive and a pleasure to use is a critical component of any successful kiosk project.  In this second part of my two-part series on developing a responsive kiosk user interface, we’ll focus on design considerations at the system level.  Follow these tips to ensure that your kiosk user interface is quick to react to your customers’ touch. Continue reading “How to Design a Responsive Kiosk User Interface – Part 2”

How to Design a Responsive Kiosk User Interface – Part 1

decoration_windows_tablet_chassisA responsive kiosk user interface is a crucial component of developing a kiosk application that’s a pleasure for your customers to use.  If your kiosk’s user interface appears sluggish, you can expect your customers will opt for interacting with a cashier, which defeats the purpose of having a self-service kiosk.  This is a multi-faceted topic that includes design considerations at both the kiosk and system level.  For this reason I’ll be breaking this article up into a 2-part series, the first of which will cover design considerations at the kiosk level. Continue reading “How to Design a Responsive Kiosk User Interface – Part 1”

What is Kiosk Software?

Kiosk software running on a kioskKiosk software is a security application specifically designed to transform a PC or tablet into a self-service kiosk.  The kiosk software is also responsible for locking down your kiosks operating system to prevent malicious user tampering, which is why kiosk software is often referred to as “kiosk lockdown software.”

Some common features of kiosk software include:

Ensures that your kiosk application is always running

In most cases the kiosk operator will desire to deliver their content in the form of a website or native application running on their kiosk.  An example of a native application for a kiosk running Microsoft Windows would be a .NET WPF application.  For the sake of brevity, for the remainder of this article I’m going to refer to the website or native application running on your kiosk as “your kiosk application.”

Continue reading “What is Kiosk Software?”