May 27,2010 Wilmington, Del. — Well before Apple launched the iPad, savvy business owners have been leveraging touch-screen technology for their customers’ benefit, while reducing fixed expenses. Utilizing Windows-compatible touch-screen computers, Trellist Marketing and Technology (Trellist) has developed applications for a variety of needs, two of which are highlighted below. From retailers to event planners, businesses often face a tradeoff between staff head count and customer service. Trellist’s applications allow a better balance between these two.
In a recent interview for the HP TouchSmart Blog, José deCos, Trellist’s touch-screen project lead, noted that Trellist’s first touch application development, in 1996, entailed integrating CRTs in a "huge kiosk," - nothing like the all-in-one solutions available today.
deCos went on to describe some of the touch-screen’s present-day advantages in application development: "The flow of an application when using touch alone (or, in the future, letting a screen sense your motion as with HP’s new touchless technology on walls) is a nice departure from standard computer use. The comfort of having no hardware other than a screen with which you directly interact allows users to browse material naturally and comfortably. It’s some of what smartphones and e-readers offer, but on a larger palette and with more functionality."
However, deCos also noted some of the touch-screen’s unique characteristics can sabotage the user experience if not utilized appropriately. Thus, considerations for developers include the distribution of design elements to avoid mis-clicks/touches, navigational options to mitigate the lack of a "right click" and considerations around whole hand/all-finger manipulation.
Priscilla of Boston, a high-end bridal dress retailer, recently unveiled its first touch-screen catalog, developed by Trellist, in its Suburban Square Salon in Ardmore, PA. Using only her fingertip(s), a bride-to-be can now browse and select dresses that meet her and her bridal party’s needs, view selections in different colors, evaluate runway videos and request that an in-store consultant bring her final selections to a dressing room. The application also includes continuous data capture to help improve user experience and document return on investment. Avoiding the tedium of thick brochures and catalogs and the expense of printing a LookBook twice a year were driving factors for building this touch-screen application. Now the Priscilla’s shopper can "cut to the chase" more quickly, but also make her choices in an enjoyable, immersive way, recently featured on NBC news.
For the 20th annual Cinequest film festival in San Jose, Trellist developed a user-friendly touch-screen interface to help the events 80,000 moviegoers locate and select film screenings by such criteria as country of origin, show date(s) and genre. As with the Priscilla’s application, the business objective centered on serving more people and addressing more questions without requiring a large number of on-site staff.
"In considering any other platform, Trellist advises clients when a touch-screen solution is appropriate for their needs and when it is not," concluded deCos. "When the business need supports using a particular technology, we will leverage its benefits to meet that need."