Most days I curse the fact that I'm not in the south of France. However, this week is especially bad. If you are a designer or trend watcher this is the week that you ache to be at Cannes Lions
Designers from all over the world from every discipline converge on Cannes to inspire and be inspired. Many of the design trends for the coming year start to emerge from the work that earns honors.
If these trends are making an impact on industrial design, architecture, advertising and media, then it follows that they will influence what is expected from a kiosk. This year some of the trends that have emerged from the work are:
Thin is In
We've seen it from Apple for years. HP has the Sleekbook and so does Microsoft's Surface. Users expect technology to be sleek and elegant. Thin has started to convey something about the quality of the technology inside. Therefore, anything that is big and bulky or looks like an ATM is instantly seen as technology from a previous generation.
It's Organic, Man
Starbuck's does organic design better than anyone. You can also see this trend taking an even stronger foothold in architecture and interior design this year. Flowing, curvy and natural shapes that have organic textures will better help kiosks to integrate into these modern interiors. Besides just aesthetics organic shapes and materials tend to have a soothing effect on people.
Bold and Beautiful
Sometimes you want to integrate into the architecture and sometimes you want to stand out. The new pantone colors this year are candy-colored and bold. Glossy pinks, electric blues and taxi yellows are making statements.
This palette on molded plastics with interesting shapes can really help brands stand out. These colors help draw attention. One thing to be careful of with these is they can quickly become dated and the design has to be something worth screaming for attention.
The hipster has spread his influence and it is affecting everyone. So if you don't have Johnny Cash on your play list, a pair of skinny jeans and Buddy Holly glasses, you need to take care of that right now. Playful design and iconography from the past continue to dominate creative work.
I asked a friend who is a design aficionado why he thought this trend continued to grow and he said simply "Nostalgia. People want to remember a simpler time." I have to believe he's right because when I stay at Hampton Inns, the pictures of kids in Radio Flyer wagon always make me smile. Using these images on the enclosure or the application can help bring that smile to the faces of your users.
Big bold typography that is influenced by Swiss International style creates a simple way to tell your message in a visually interesting way. Look what swissted.com did with punk rock posters. If your kiosk has to be somewhat boxy because of the components that you need to integrate, go ahead and square it up and use this style to make it look purposeful and to add a modern flare.
Humor is always in fashion. Don't be afraid to put playful slogans or signage on your kiosks. Remember you want people to be drawn to it and you want them to feel good about the experience. Humor is a great way to disarm people, so add elements of play to applications to delight users.
As you are designing your kiosk or self-service application, look to other fields of design for inspiration. Clearly your brand should be your beacon. However, it is important to remember that this is a pivotal interface with your customers.
You want the experience to be engaging. A well-designed device can certainly help with that. That doesn't mean quality, functionality and uptime should not be primary. However, design is an integral part of the customer experience.
Sheridan Orr is the Managing Partner of the Interrobang! Agency, a consulting firm specializing in brand experiences. She has a decade of experience in consumer behaviors, brands, technology and design. Her passion is in crafting engaging and connected customer experiences.