Heckler Design’s latest product, WindFall Kiosk is the culmination of years of iterative design and development effort. We managed to coerce WindFall Kiosk’s designer, Dean Heckler, to answer a few design-related questions.
What took you so long to produce a tablet kiosk product?
Tablet kiosk designs typically fall into two categories: Pipe & Base or Monolith. Pipe & Base designs are often a boring and flimsy combination of thin steel tube attached to a circular or square base made of cheap medium-density fibreboard or thin steel. Connected to the top of the pipe is often a bulky one-size-fits all tablet enclosure. The overall result is not a cohesive object but an odd-looking collection of parts that produces a poor impression in a professional environment.
Monolith designs feature a simple tower of thin sheet metal, with a hole cut out for the tablet screen. Monolith designs have an uncomfortably high center of gravity and a bulky appearance that is not welcome in environments like museums and car shows in which the kiosk will be placed directly in front of important subject matter.
In short, I felt a whole new approach to tablet kiosk design was needed. Creating the right design approach and developing that design into an exciting product required years.
What was the primary design challenge?
The primary design challenge was to create a tablet kiosk my customers can love.
I feel companies big and small have been forced to buy ugly kiosks out of necessity and lack of good design. To achieve an aesthetically pleasing tablet kiosk that offered stability, rigidity, cable management, security, and tablet choice proved to be a tremendous challenge. I discarded dozens of designs over the past several years that I felt missed the mark.
What was the result?
The result is a design the appears to reach towards the viewer – a sculptural, tapered neck jetting forth from a stable three-point base. The neck’s origin looks and feels substantial an unbreakable, while its apex is impressively svelte. Atop the neck floats a sleek tablet frame tailored to each specific tablet model. This approach showcases the impressive minimalism of modern tablets and maintains the overall sleekness of the kiosk’s design.
We’ve produced a finished object that can be used either for permanent installation in a corporate headquarters or to pack-and-ship to a different trade show every month.
We’ve received such a great reaction to the design. Over the past few months we’ve loaned prototype and production WindFall Kiosks to local charity and entrepreneurial events. In every instance, we received feedback of praise and pre-orders. It has been a long design and development process. I’m excited to finally see them in use around the world.