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How to Design the Best Contactless Touch User Experience

Contactless touch user interfaces are being rolled out in increasing numbers at public facilities, but they are still new and unfamiliar to the broader public. How can we help facilitate the use of this new technology? Bastien Beauvois, Area Sales Director at Neonode gives us a few pointers.

We humans have become so accustomed to interacting with our smartphones that any interface that does not offer a similar user experience feels unnatural. We forget that a few years ago, the mere idea of having a chat session, grocery shopping or booking flights from a tiny device in our pocket felt like a dystopian future. We have grown accustomed to our mobile devices without even realizing it because every time we interact with a touchscreen, we use a set of cues placed by UX designers to facilitate our user journey.

UX designers are hard at work trying to improve how we use contactless touch to interact with devices in a safe and natural way (as natural as interacting with a 2D screen has become anyway 😉). Learning how to select a floor in an elevator, choosing your favourite take-away in a Quick Service Restaurant or checking-in at an airport, without touching any displays, can all be facilitated using these simple techniques:

1. An agent on the floor

Modern airport terminals, quick service restaurants, banks and supermarkets have optimized their customer journey by introducing self-serve kiosks to reduce wait times. One or more checkout personnel are stationed on the floor to assist unfamiliar users. These same agents can assist users with contactless interfaces, too.

2. Using markers and signage

One of the benefits of Neonode’s contactless solutions is that the solution is not concealed. A chassis containing the Neonode Touch Sensor module is always mounted above, below or along the side edge of a display and offers a convenient space for markers and signage indicating how to use the technology. Similar markers can also be placed on the floor to indicate the optimal position for an average user.

3. Looping tutorial videos

At an early stage of rolling out a touchless solution (or as a permanent fix), a short video can be included on the kiosk itself or on a screen next to the kiosk. Continuously looping a short tutorial video like the one you would see on a plane before take-off would allow the user to learn while queuing.

4. Integrated marketing

There is also a real opportunity for organizations to integrate a call to interaction with their branding, their advertising campaigns and general signage around the store or restaurant, as well as at the space where the kiosks are located. Because caring for customer health has become a top priority for many organizations, “going contactless” should become part of their identity. As our daily experiences transform us into more tech savvy customers, we will get it! Our initial trials confirm that once customers know how to interact with a kiosk, metrics such as interaction time remain unchanged.

Let’s use these simple cues to usher in the era of ubiquitous contactless interaction. Who knows? We may soon look back at the days when we actually had to touch the screen and wonder, ‘Why?’.

Do you want to know more about contactless touch, read Bastien's blog Four Reasons Why Your Customers Will Engage With a Contactless Installation