Visitors come to beautiful Colorado every year to encounter the great outdoors: they ski at world class resorts, hike to the summit of 14ers, mountain bike the rugged terrain, and take in the beauty of wildflowers and animals in the wild. Not coincidentally, there is also an abundance of talented, local photographers that have captured the breathtaking landscapes that surround us in this most colorful state.
Problem to Solve
Tourists visiting Colorado resorts want to take home quality memories of their adventures, and local photographers want to display and sell their photos in venues other than cost-prohibitive galleries. The fine art photography must be high quality, easy to select, customize, and purchase while also shipping directly to their home to avoid the hassle of flying or driving with fine art.
This project was funded as a lean startup: the viability of the concept was tested with users repeatedly, and each design iteration took into account any available user feedback and usage data. The touchscreen kiosk was custom designed to be larger than 40 inches, housed in an elegant white powder-coated metal frame and mounted to the wall in a resort lobby. The images would need to invite guests passing by to interact with the screen from a distance. A salesperson would not be present to conduct the transaction, so the interface needed to be intuitive and simple for all to use without assistance. Accessibility for those in wheelchairs was also a requirement to meet ADA standards.
Early prototypes were developed to test different ways to explore the photo collections. We decided on curating content based on location, keyword collections, and color. While in slideshow mode, the most intriguing photographs are showcased to entice guests to take a closer look. The galleries flow into a detail view of the selected photograph and encourage purchase.
The wireframes I designed planned for supporting various aspect ratios, as well as both horizontal and vertical formats. The final design of gallery views used a masonry pattern that was highly curated to highlight the most stunning photos and accommodate the various sizes and orientations.
Visually, the interface was designed to take a back seat to the photography. The selected color palette was neutral, and the use of type was both modern and sophisticated. The kiosk had to look like it belonged in an elegant resort lobby. Early on, we learned that guests needed a clearer overview of the ordering process, so we added a help screen that appeared initially on contact to guide them through the process.
We also thoughtfully considered how users explored the photographs and made it easy for them to return to previously viewed images. The back and home buttons provide a familiar means to move between screens and start again. For those in wheelchairs, the height of the kiosk, placement of the credit card reader, and clearance underneath were carefully planned to meet ADA standards. An access mode was also designed to allow guests with limited mobility to explore the collections through a minimal keypad that highlighted options on the screen to select.
The purchase flow was designed to be streamlined while also providing a variety of options for framing, materials and print sizes. The final design condensed the options further to include pricing of both size and finishing on the same screen. The purchase screens helped the guest imagine the various options in context to their home, with just enough detail to be self-explanatory. Lastly, the shipping and purchase screens were designed to allow for privacy while interacting with a large screen in a public place, and ease of use to encourage successful completion of transactions.
After several kiosks were installed in resorts, we were able to mine the usage data and determined that most guests were lingering on the detail view but didn’t initiate the purchase flow. Design alterations were made to call more visual attention to the Buy Now button and provide tips to explain how the process works.
We also discovered that the larger kiosks were not as cost effective as smaller units, which could be installed in greater numbers and required less wall space from the resort to accommodate. Thankfully, the design scaled down effectively with adequate touch targets as we had initially tested the interface on tablets to get feedback from early users.
Many thanks to the collaborative design efforts of:
Rob Lantz, Developer
Andrew Markley and Dean Eberhardt, sponsors