Key consideration #7: Stability of Touch Screen Kiosk Software

Dec 07 2012

Continuing our series:  Ten Key Considerations for Exhibit Multimedia Success.

Although bugs may be interesting creatures, when it comes to bugs in software, you want to make every effort to eradicate them before you open your exhibit.  Basically, bugs (in software terms) are errors in computer code that cause the software to fail or run improperly. 

If you are developing your touch screen software on your own, you need to make sure that you do comprehensive testing of the software well before your launch.  The basic methods of testing for software include…

  • Set up your software to run on the hardware you intend to use in the exhibit (that means EVERYTHING).
  • Test early, sometimes it takes a while to get some of the trickier bugs completely fixed.
  • Let the software run for as long as possible in a testing environment (we’re talking days and weeks, not minutes and hours).
  • Test all of the functionality several times (every button, every function, etc.).
  • PROOF READ!!!  You can’t depend on spell check to know that PAIR should be PEAR.
  • Let someone unfamiliar with the software test for you (better yet, let a child or a senior citizen give it a try). 
  • If you abided by the suggestions in previous posts in this series, you need to test all of your “time outs” to make sure that they “kick in” and redirect properly.
  • Don’t take anything for granted and seriously consider any navigation or functionality suggestions you get from your testers.

Following these steps should help you identify the bugs in your software so now that you know what they are, fix them.  Don’t let any bug, no matter how insignificant, get by.  The implications of “minor” bugs can be much more “major” than you initially expect.  Once the bugs are fixed, test and test again.

If you are hiring a development company to do your programming, make sure you are aware of their quality control procedures and the software warranty.  It can be difficult to make software updates in some cases on a system that is in use.  Any reputable software development company will fully test their software and offer a reasonable warranty.  Our point2explore touch screen kiosk software products are put through our 24 point quality control check list and are covered by a full one year warranty.

Consider purchasing customizable software products like our point2explore line.  Not only are these software products fully tested each time they are set up, but they are all currently running in facilities across the country.  So not only do you have the peace of mind that the software is bug free, you have great references to check.

Why bother with all this testing?  Well, bugs in software can cause a number of unwanted results during use including…

  • Unexpected exit to Windows Desktop (if you have read the earlier blog submission on security you know why this is bad).
  • Unresponsive software “freezing”.
  • The “blue screen of death” as it’s called by coders and engineers (this is when Windows shuts down completely leaving behind a blue “DOS” screen.
  • Gradual slowing down of responsiveness of the program.
  • Loss of some functionality.

Don’t take bugs for granted and make sure you invest the time and effort to completely test your software before you release it to the public. 

If you have any recommendations or additions, please comment by clicking the “Comments” link below.  We’d love to hear from you!!

Chris Meyer


CD Meyer, Inc./point2explore

point2explore is product line of customizable touch screen kiosk programs including interactive games and informational programs.  point2explore products are currently running in over 100 museums and have been used in corporate events across the country. Visit our web site at


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