When beginning a kiosk program, it can be difficult to know where to start. Depending on a brand’s needs, different kinds of kiosks are going to be better suited than others. Luckily, most kiosk manufacturers have in-house design and engineering departments to guide clients on the right path.
When a company is looking for a kiosk, one of the first things the design and engineering departments will do is determine the best kiosk enclosure for their needs: standard, custom, or somewhere in-between. But how is this decided? The three biggest factors at play are going to be speed, economics, and kiosk design.
Standard kiosks are enclosures that have been designed and engineered already. They can be slightly modified with standard hardware parts like credit card readers, barcode scanners, and more or made in custom colors to fit a business’ branding.
Very little engineering is needed for standard kiosks, and often a prototype isn’t necessary. The project can typically go straight to production, skipping approximately six weeks of engineering, and limiting the design cycle to about a week, making this option perfect for projects with tight deadlines.
And since design, engineering, and prototypes are generally what drive up the program costs, standard enclosures are ideal for brands on a budget.
On the other end of the spectrum, custom kiosk enclosures are created completely from the ground up and involve more time and attention by both engineers and designers before going into production.
Because there is no standard base to work off of, there will be more back-and-forth between design and engineering, as well as with the client, in order to make preliminary revisions, test, and tweak unique designs and features. These designs and revisions may lengthen the lead time by six to eight weeks when compared to a standard kiosk’s turnaround time.
However, this option provides more freedom to explore different ideas and options that could better meet the needs of a project without the restrictions of using a standard enclosure and pre-existing parts, making custom the perfect avenue for companies with unique requirements.
A more middle-ground option is a hybrid between standard and custom. The enclosure itself still comes from the kiosk manufacturer’s standard line, but rather than solely using pre-existing peripherals, or hardware, custom add-ons are designed and engineered for the project, offering a little more flexibility when it comes to standard kiosk enhancement. This option will typically add around two weeks to the timeline of a standard kiosk delivery.
Generally, the decision to opt for custom parts for a standard kiosk is based on aesthetics and a brand’s desire to stand out among exclusively standard kiosks without having to start the process from scratch with a completely custom kiosk.
Regardless of whether a company chooses to go with a standard or custom design, or something in-between, the in-house design and engineering departments are integral to launching these kiosks toward production.
There are times when a client may bring a design to a kiosk company and ask that it be produced. The first question a kiosk company will ask is whether the client outright owns the designs and engineering.
This simply means the client has paid a design firm a fee for the designs or that the client designed the kiosk themselves. If the answer is yes to both, the kiosk manufacturer will get to work studying the design, making modifications where necessary and move to the engineering stage to build a prototype.
Most, if not all kiosk companies offer design and engineering services under one roof. Once a design is finalized and approved, the kiosk company’s in-house engineering can seamlessly move to the next stage.
When done under the same roof as the designs, engineers can meet with the designer, make subtle changes, and complete the drawings expeditiously. Because the departments are familiar with each other and routinely work together, they tend to speak the same language and have efficiencies that accelerate the engineering process.
Regardless of if a client comes in with their own designs or are completely green to the process, kiosk manufacturers are here to help make the kiosk journey as easy as possible.