The Busy IT Guy’s Guide to Interactive Technology


You’re a busy IT guy. You’ve turned being a “geek” into a pretty great way to make a living. But chances are, you’re spread way too thin by having to support multiple departments, and let me guess -- you’re expected to specialize in anything that happens on a screen. That’s just impossible!

Well, we have made a keen observation as more and more organizations are adding interactive technology to their business strategy. Most businesses task their IT professionals with coming up with an interactive solution because, well, touch technology happens on a screen, right?

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Don't waste your time

The problem here is that in situations where the IT pros are siloed and tasked with simply gathering hardware specs, while the creative team hoards information on the software concept - the IT guys typically have to re-do their tech research as interactive concepts always change when an interactive expert is finally contacted. What a waste of time.

In order to have a highly effective touch solution (a winning software + hardware combination) you need to have a good understanding of the software concept and other supporting facts. Because every touch solution will be customized for maximum efficiency, a one-size-fits-all touch technology approach won't work here. Think software experience first, hardware second.

By preparing yourself with the answers to the following questions, your interactive solutions provider can help you create a specific technology plan unique to your experience's set of requirements. 

What you do need to know:

Who is the audience you expect to engage with this touch experience? Put yourself in the personalizatoin mindset and forget the days of mass marketing. Have an understanding of the demographic and take advantage of interactive technology which will allow different types of users to choose their own path through the interface so they can interact as the individuals they are. 

Are there any plans to integrate this touch experience with current marketing campaigns? A common mistake is expecting your online marketing to look and feel the same on a large touch display. Those are two different channels in that are engaged in very different environments. A skilled touch solutions provider can help you express the same message in a completely new way so it connects to your users. 

What are the timelines and budget? This is very important. A touch solution can cost anywhere from hundreds to millions of dollars. Don't waste your time, or your touch solutions providers time by dancing around this question. Help us help you!

What are the business objectives this experience is tied to? This question must be answered in your initial project scoping meeting. Identifying the ROI early on will generate more buy-in and give you a heads-up on potential issues before they derail your funding.

What location will the interactive experience be living in? Will it be indoor or outdoor? Is there a heavy flow of traffic? Do they imagine it will be a fixed experience or will it be moved from time to time?  Is there direct sunlight? All of these will affect the touch technology used and can influence the configuration of the interactive displays.

Do they anticipate single/dual touch (mouse click-like functionality), multi-touch (full hand gesturing), or touchless gesturing? Today, you may simply need a single point touch display for a tradeshow – but what about tomorrow? Will your company squash their tradeshow presence? Will single touch be seen as ancient gesturing in a few months’ time? By future-proofing your solution, your hardware will be able to deliver UI/UX principles or new gestures for multiple user software without costly upgrades or replacements. Seize this opportunity to integrate multi-touch, webcams or RFID into your interactive solution. 

Right about now you might be thinking that you really don’t have time for this. After all, you have an IT department to run and clients to serve, plus too many urgent issues and problems to be spending time thinking about squishy things like user experience. But we promise, there is no better use of your time than understanding it now so we can come up with a solution together without the untimely back and forth between departments.



Author Bio| Horizon Display

describe the imageJessica Webster, Marketing Specialist for Horizon Display. Jessica likes to destroy create things. She specializes in creative design, copywriting, brand awareness, interface creation and making it all look easy (when we all know it sure isn’t). When she’s not designing the heck out of everything, you will probably find her staring at her Pantone swatch book drinking an unnecessary amount of coffee.