Touchscreen-Devices are mostly portable computers with a touch-sensitive surface, that are controlled by touch or motion gestures of graphical elements displayed on the screen instead of classical inpu devices such as keyboard and a mouse.

Suitability of touchscreen applications for Product Search and Product Advice

Product Guides and Product Search can be well integrated in touchscreen-applications: Touchscreen Product Advisors bring Guided Selling and advantages of online Product Advice into stationary specialist retailers and mobile shopping. At stationary retailers touchscreen-devices (e.g. iPad or other touchpads) are used by sales professionals as supporting tool in consultations or in self- service consulting terminals. Smartphones are especially useful for mobile shopping, but also to remind a user of his online product recommendation.

Touchscreens improve the shopping experience, because products can be displayed more intensively and intuitively. Due to other screen dimensions and usage scenario, the information and usability has to be adapted to each mobile device the shopping situation.  

What would have to be kept in mind while developing touchscreen applications for product advice?

  • For local stores it is recommended to design a large touch interface since it will probably be watched from larger distance.
  • Reward your potential customer with a special shopping experience for using the touchscreen-app: offer touch interactions like a picture zoom with hand gestures or device-specific interaction elemets like the iPads´ popover.
  • Do not adopt all elements of a typical user interface that is controlled with a mouse, but note all touch system peculiarities. Most of the Guided Selling systems have a full-featured User Interface, for e.g. with animations, drag and drop and hover effects. Touchscreen apps provide new forms of interaction, but do not allow any mouse functions like popups while hovering over smaller interaction elements.
  • Do not overload your apps. Often touch-devices are used in areas with a slower network connection, for that reason they need to load and interact quickly. The performance of animations and effects is particularly critical because overloaded but delayed effects are particularly annoying.

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