Pilot project for the development of a new application and consulting situation for banking under consideration of a multi-touch technology and an appropriated room situation.


Duration: June 2009 - December 2011 / zfe project; reference number 41952001; 2010-2011 / Prof. Tom Philipps



Natural user interfaces with multi-touch features are currently very widely discussed not only in the context of human-machine interfaces but also beyond, in reports geared to an audience interested in technology. Even though the huge potential of such solutions is hardly denied, there is an extensive agreement that there are no serious applications yet which really make use of the new possibilities.
But it is the very presence in a social room, the capability to present a social situation together with highly involving features due to their direct and haptic appeal, which provides many starting points for developing new situations for media-based support through a digital input device. Especially sales and consulting situations can benefit from the fact that the process becomes more transparent and clear to the customer and the consultant receives a faster and simpler data access. Nevertheless, what is still missing are coherent basic concepts which are based on a real-life working situation and provide serious solutions for everyday situations.



In times of loss of trust due to the financial crisis, again and again, consulting (and its deficits) is at the center of attention. It is not just an act of brokering; the quality of information and formalities such as recording also contribute to the poor grades financial institutions have been receiving.


The traditionally conservative sector is aware of the task to become more attractive at a local level and opens itself to technically innovative solutions with the attraction of something new, which would rather be expected from lifestyle companies. The "branch office of the future" is already being developed, and the corresponding technology is being used in order to create attractive showcases.  However, in the researched examples, the appealing showcases are merely used to raise curiosity before somehow bridging to the traditional consulting process.

The idea here is to develop a scenario that incorporates the whole consulting situation, the contents, and the social situation, including the elements that define the room. The product, which  consists of standardized modules and components in the spatial implementation while at the same time being scalable, can be realized best as consulting room fitted with equipment. In this room, all content-related aspects as well as the appearance - both digital and real - can be adapted to the respective consulting situation.

The aspiration is to provide a complete solution: In the definition of the room, a familiar atmosphere is also part of the solution. The protection of the customer's privacy and data must be ensured. The software side maps a fully digital ideal consulting process, from the recording of customer data to the visualization of visual aids to the automatic creation of the minutes of the consultation.

A functional demonstrator should visualize the potential and prove the feasibility to the point that the acceptance of this technology can be tested with the target group and find acceptance in the banking and insurance sector. In contrast to the conservative image, the sector is well aware of the necessity to take new paths with regard to customer contact and self-representation.


Objective of the pilot project:


•     The project is to consider psychological and sociological factors or known procedures of an ideal consulting interview situation.
•     The project is to specifically consider and use the effect of the room situation.
•    The project is to identify the possibilities of a multi-touch interface and associated techniques, such as the use of tangibles, with regard to providing support in the consultation.
•    The project is to consider the different (simultaneous) requirements of the preparation and manipulability of information by consultants and customers.
•    The project is to integrate the electronic periphery for a future-oriented banking process into the consideration (process for authentication etc.).


Project structure


I.    Conceptional developments and analyses

•    C.E.S.A.R. analysis
•    The interviews
•    The mental model
•    Service blueprint
•    Information separation
•    Creation of consulting modules
•    Touchpoint matrix
•    Scoping modules

II.  Technical setting

•    The new consulting process



Fig. 01 - The core elements of the media-supported consulting situation: Multi-touch-capable digital table top, digital wall element, and the motion detection sensor Microsoft Kinect.


Interface design

III.    Interfacedesign

•     Storyline
•     GUI guideline
•     Basic rules for interaction
•     Screen design

Border crossing  –  From the real world into the digital world
The following figures show the interface design of the multi-touch user interface, the multi-touch table and the screen. The bank customer is introduced to the new consulting situation: He/she is picked up in a world he/she knows, i.e. the normal "paper-based" consulting interview, and then moves the interview to a digital room with him/her.

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Transition from traditional to digital consulting interview: A questionnaire is scanned and directly imported in and displayed by the table element.

The following figures show the interface design of the multi-touch user interface of the multi-touch table and the screen. The figure above describes the recording of the life situation by entering the information via the touch interface. The figure below shows an overview of the "agenda". For detailed information, refer to the second documentation, chapter 6 (The Prototype).

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The information exchange between table and wall takes place via motion detection.

Additional design materials

Design materials in paper and electronic form are integrated into the consulting process in two places. They mark and stage the transition from the normal real-world consultation situation to the digital one and vice versa:

The questionnaire concerning the consulting interest and the consultation minutes Both are based on current practice, but the specifications of this practice could not lead to a complete determination of the content.

IV. Room design


Design approach: With this concept, an innovative spatial and media-based consulting environment is created which is attractive for financially strong customers as well as the next generation of digital natives and which fulfills their new wishes and needs. (Fig. 1) The design includes a lounge-like environment where consultant and customer talk openly to one another and trust is emphasized by an open yet discrete architecture. (Fig. 2) Comfort is induced through a feel-good atmosphere, a pleasant and discrete room design, and by the room atmosphere created by the customer himself/herself. At the next visit, he/she recognizes the personalized consulting sphere that arouses familiar feelings and associations. (Fig. 3)
Once the consulting sphere is entered, the persons involved can act and communicate flexibly and interactively using the media wall, the table and the devices brought in, such as notebook, cell phone and touch pad. (Fig. 4) A seamless transition between the media should simplify the communication and document complex issues and consulting processes. At the end of each consulting session, the customer receives specialized minutes of the interview. (Fig. 5)



The objective was to develop components that can be intelligently combined and consider factors like architecture, number of persons etc. This allows a high degree of flexibility and individual adaptations based on standards.


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Consultants and customers expect discretion, comfort and a clear consulting situation that is fostered by a clear room arrangement. Privacy is given by a partition wall blocking the view from the entrance. This example scenario provides space for two customers and one consultant. The consultant should be able to step up to the screen in order to present certain topics while standing.

Every building and every room offers different prerequisites based on the layout. Windows, doors, air conditioning, light and power influence the setup and accessibility. The development of a flexible room system enables the adaptation of the room to individual requirements.

(copy 11)

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The example of the consulting room described here

The example of the consulting room described here is adapted to minimal requirements and takes up as little space as possible in the surrounding room. If the structure provides more space, the whole setup can be preconfigured based on individual planning.

V. Realization of the prototype room situation

In order to be able to map a realistic consulting situation, the 1:1 prototype is a necessary step. Spatial impact, dialog atmosphere, sound and size can be experiences first hand and give a significant impression of the process, the software handling and the perception of the consulting.

The test setup is used for testing and optimizing the developed software and provides information for structural, ergonomic and sensory analyses.


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