People ask us all the time: How are touchscreen applications different from websites?
Here are some of the things that we have learned!
Website and touchscreen users are in a different place, literally and figuratively.
Website users are not at your community, and can be at any stage of an apartment search, although they are most likely to be in the early prospecting stage. They want information, and a lot of it! Your location, your community’s appearance, how your residents rate you, how they will interact with you...basically anything they can find. Websites are used to market your property
Touchscreens are used to market your units, and your prospective resident’s new home
. Your touchscreen users are standing in your lobby! They don’t need directions to your community. They don’t need to know what the exterior looks like (although, some professional shots at different times of day never hurt!
) And, they are interacting with you around their interaction with your touchscreen, so their reaction to your touchscreen becomes part of their experience with you!
Websites are designed for general use. Touchscreens for specific use.
Your prospects will likely want to gather different information over a period of time as they make their decisions. As they gather information about other aspects of their move, they will refer back to your website for your corresponding information. Websites are perfect, and vital, for that function.
Comparatively, the time a prospect spends with your touchscreen is likely to be short. But, it is also going to occur during one of the most crucial times in the entire leasing process. The moments that a prospect walks into your leasing center mark an important transition. They are going from having done all of their own work, to letting you sell your community to them. Your leasing touchscreen can make that transition seamless, and eliminate the need for you to play catch-up. Plus, providing access to cutting edge technology sends a powerful message that you aim high to meet the needs of your residents.
People expect different performance from websites and on-site technology.
Your prospects use the internet for everything, and they are used to whatever delays and interruptions that go along with inconsistent service options and wireless capabilities.
However, when people use touch technology, they expect accuracy and responsiveness. Touchscreens are not the same as their wireless devices. They are a reflection of how tech-forward you are. (Think of the touchscreens that have become a part of your everyday routine. How often do you see a button on a supermarket self check-out freeze? And how angry do you get if it happens?!)
The internet is old hat. Touchscreens, not so much.
Everyone - especially your target market - knows how to get around the internet these days. When somebody ends up on your website, it is usually as the result of a targeted search. In other words, they are there because they want to be there, at least until they get what they need.
A large-format leasing application is a different animal. When a prospect walks into your office, they don’t expect to end up face to face with a huge screen that responds to their touch. They don’t necessarily know how they are going to interact with images and markers, and the experience is akin to exploring any new technology for the first time.
Different inputs create different experiences.
One big difference they will find when they do interact with a touch screen has to do with something called multi-touch. Unlike the point-and-click nature of a mouse, touchscreens allow for users to manipulate what is on the screen in an entirely new way. (Provided that their application is programmed that way!)
So, how does all of this impact your actual touchscreen application. We will look at the application of these concepts in our next post!
How do these differences appear on our touchscreens? Go to PART 2 to find out.