Designing anything for use in the public space presents considerable challenges. Designers have to cater for a wide demographic, unpredictable behaviour, and a short, time-pressured user experience. Users have little time or patience for learning how to use new technologies.

Whilst users may well see benefits in a touchless public kiosk, and be willing to try one, it is important to ensure every possible step is taken to make their first experience a smooth one. For almost everyone this will be a brand-new way to interact with kiosks.

If implemented correctly, the first experience with a touchless kiosk can be quick, engaging, and intuitive. Ultraleap strongly recommend paying attention to the following considerations to ensure your users’ first touchless kiosk experience is a good one.

Consider Cursor Colour

The cursors come with 4 default colour modes to suit different user interfaces, as well as the option to customize the colour and opacity of each graphic element in the cursor. These can be changed in the User Interface Settings screen of the TouchFree application.

It is key that the right cursor colours are selected for different user interfaces. At all times, the cursor should be clearly visible and stand out against the UI, with strong visual contrast.

Cursor setup

TouchFree Cursor Colour
  • Light mode - Suitable for interfaces which are fairly light, or have a white background.

  • Dark mode - Suitable for interfaces which are fairly dark, using black or strong colours in the background.

  • Light and dark high contrast modes - Suitable for interfaces which feature a lot of photography, complex visual elements, and a mixture of light and dark areas.

Consider the on-screen interface

Buttons and layout

TouchFree Application can run invisibly on top of any touchscreen kiosk user interface. However, there are some minimum requirements in order for users to have the best TouchFree experience.

These should also be taking into account when designing brand-new touchless interfaces using TouchFree Tooling.

The interface should have:

  • Minimum button size between 20 x 20mm (75 x 75 px) and 30 x 30mm (115 x 115 px)

  • Spacing between buttons minimum of 5 mm (20 px)

If the interface does not meet these minimum requirements then users will still be able to operate buttons, but may experience additional difficulty and some frustration.

UI controls

TouchFree Application can retrofit the following UI controls:

  • Button pressing, tapping

  • Dragging, scrolling, swiping - for example carousel controls or rotatable 3D objects

Provide Feedback and Reassurance

When operating a kiosk with touchless technology, users benefit from additional feedback on their actions - for example, confirmation that a button has been successfully pressed.

Both Air Push and Hover & Hold cursors animate upon successful pressing of a button to aid with this. If you are able, consider making further changes to visual and audio feedback to give users additional reassurance.

Ultraleap recommend:

  • Colour changes on button release

  • Button micro-animations on button release

  • Audio cues to signal button release

If you’re developing with TouchFree Tooling, not only do you have complete control over how your interface reacts to a successful button click, you can also display the progress of a click, hover states, cursor changes based on the underlying UI, and much, much more. This ensures that users have appropriate feedback for a wide of range of their actions

Aid User Adoption

Create instructional content to provide end users with confidence

Research shows that customers are willing and enthusiastic to try TouchFree-driven experiences, motivated by the hygienic benefits.

However, there is a small learning curve to consider and it is important that the first-time user experience is stress free.

In the public space people want things to work quickly and intuitively. The challenge is to help users overcome the learning curve that is introduced by using a new technology.

Clear instructional information is essential to provide users with confidence to use TouchFree. We recommend implementing the following in your kiosk experiences where possible:

  • On screen animation

  • Footprint stickers on the floor

  • Instructional panel

  • Text to indicate the kiosk is touchless

See more detailed recommendations on the Call to Interact.

Consider The Interaction Types

In TouchFree you can choose between three interaction types - Air Push, Hover & Hold, and Touch Plane - in the User Interface Settings screen.

The default settings are based on research and testing with diverse users and we recommend taking a cautious approach to changing the parameters from the recommended defaults.

Air Push

Air Push is recommended for button pushing/tapping, and is well suited to public kiosks with user interfaces largely made of buttons.

Hover & Hold

User testing indicates that Air Push feels more natural for most users, but with the Hover & Hold interaction, users can get to grips with a touchless kiosk very quickly.

Touch Plane

Like Air Push, Touch Plane provides a familiar, and intuitive interaction method for first-time users.

Users quickly learn the distance of the Touch Plane from the screen. Interacting with this virtual 2D plane gives users touchscreen-like control. Events cannot be triggered at any other distance from the screen. This provides extra security against accidental interaction.

We recommend Touch Plance for busy public kiosks such as fast food menus, ATMs, and train ticket kiosks.