Touchscreen Kiosks: Pros and Cons of Adding a Keyboard

There are plenty of options when it comes to touchscreen kiosks, and you’ll need to decide whether you require one with a keyboard. Making that decision can be tricky, so we’ve written up a quick list of pros and cons.

The benefits of adding a keyboard

Keyboards aren’t used as commonly as they used to be with customer service kiosks, and the improvements made in touchscreen technology go a long way towards explaining that fact. However, making sure that your touchscreen kiosk is also equipped with a keyboard carries several benefits, including;

  • Speed: The main benefit of using a keyboard is the speed at which typing can take place. Typing out full sentences using a touchscreen can be both tricky and time-consuming, and it’s often harder to edit what you’ve written, so a keyboard is advantageous if such a requirement is likely.
  • Additional Characters: Touchscreens are fine for most uses, but you’ll sometimes need users to enter symbols that are found more easily on a keyboard.
  • Customer Preference: Some people prefer using touchscreens; others, especially older customers, would much rather use a keyboard. By installing a kiosk with both, you’ll be catering to the needs of every customer.
  • Cleaner Screens: One of the main problems with touchscreens is that they tend to pick up smudges and marks due to repeated contact. This isn’t too important an issue in most industries, but it’s something that is worth keeping in mind; the addition of a keyboard can help mitigate the problem.

The drawbacks of adding a keyboard

Even with those benefits in mind, most people will opt for a touchscreen-only kiosk. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Touchscreen Supremacy: Touchscreens used to be a rarity, but they are now quickly becoming the norm. This means that most users will have no trouble using one, and could even find the addition of a keyboard somewhat outdated if its use isn’t clearly accounted for.
  • Cleaner Appearance: Touchscreen kiosks present a clean, uncluttered appearance. Adding a keyboard doesn’t disrupt such a style entirely, but anyone hoping to achieve the most modern look possible will be better off without one.
  • Reliability: Our kiosks are made to the highest possible standards, but there’s no denying that adding another element means that something else can do wrong. This can be a problem if your kiosk will be in an unattended environment where damage can be easily inflicted.
  • Space: Keyboards don’t take up too much space, but the area around your kiosk is hot property, and you’ll want to make the most of it. Losing the keyboard means that there’s more room for leaflets, shopping, or special offer items.

Ultimately, the right answer really depends on your own individual needs. Most industries will find that a keyboard isn’t needed, but they can be a real advantage in some environments.