Development and Test of a New Concept of Interactive Front Counter Designed to Enhance User Experience

Simona D’Attanasio, Thierry Sotiropoulos

Abstract

The front counter is the physical contact point between customers and service providers. By embedding technology in this piece of furniture in an aesthetic and an ergonomic design, surprising forms of interaction can be achieved. The combination of smart communicating devices and wood as the main material for integrated interfaces creates a unique atmosphere that can enhance user experience. This paper presents the design of an innovative, modular, low cost, interactive, smart front counter. This system provides customers with personalized information according to their profile, needs and tastes. At the same time, service and/or product providers can collect and visualize data concerning customers in real-time. With the contribution of professionals in woodcraft manufacturing and industrial design, a prototype of interactive front counter integrating a tactile wooden board, a gestural interface, and a wood screen has been developed and tested in the enotourism context with a group of 75 people. The counter was positively evaluated. Results show that the interaction with such a system can provide an attractive and valuable support for both customers and service providers.

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