Kiosk Event Check-in

Square

Project: Making event check-in faster and dead-simple
Product: OnArrival Kiosk
Role: Product Designer
Year: 2018

Case

Touchscreen kiosks are used at event check-in to quickly mark attendance and distribute information and materials such as badges to attendees. Thousands of attendees can check-in within an hour, so speed and ease are essential. Even though average check-in times were thought to be acceptable (<20 seconds), it was clear that there was room for meaningful improvement.

Problem

Real-world observation revealed multiple points during the check-in process where attendees would freeze to process what they were seeing. Attendees spent too much time typing their names (especially when correcting errors), and weren’t sure what to do once they did.

Approach

The general problem had been observed organically in the field and then quickly replicated in user testing. We had to first refine the problem into its lowest-level pieces, and then test hypotheses to solve those problems.

Insights

By observing check-in at real events and running controlled user tests, two core slowdowns were identified. One, users were typing in their entire names before searching, and two, users were unclear how to interact with the results screen. We found that approaching a kiosk when you first enter an event venue was a disorienting context, and users needed clearer-than-usual affordances to consistently find success.

Solution

To prevent unnecessary data entry, we switched to a type-ahead style search interface that surfaced results as the user typed; this dropped the number of characters needed to find your name significantly, and virtually eliminated typing errors. For the results screen, we redesigned the way the name results afforded touchability; we drew explicit button shapes around each touch target to clearly indicate to the user to tap to select.

Evaluation

Subsequent testing and new in-app metrics have shown a 45% improvement in average check-in duration, with a 49% improvement in the searching speed and a 25% improvement in the time-to-tap on the results screen.