Modifying Kiosks for Epilepsy and Photophobia

Self-ordering kiosks are becoming increasingly popular in many industries as people prefer them to ordering through an employee. These kiosks entice customers with bright, colorful displays and interesting animations. These features might seem harmless, but they can pose issues for those with photosensitive epilepsy or photophobia. While implementing new kiosks for these groups of people can take time, businesses can immediately take action to create photosensitive-safe kiosk displays. 

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, photosensitive epilepsy is a form of epilepsy where specific visual patterns or flashing lights at certain intensities can trigger a seizure. Adolescents and children are more likely to have this condition. According to the Epilepsy Society, 0.03 percent of people have epilepsy, which still constitutes about 98 thousand people in the United States. 

Some triggers are stripes of contrasting colors, flickering or rolling images in screens, and rapid flashes or alternating patterns of different colors. Nonspecific factors that, when combined, can trigger seizures are brightness, contrast with background lighting, frequency of the flash, and the distance between the light source and viewer. 

Photophobia is a non-epileptic symptom that is characterized by the intolerance of light, according to All About Vision. Both sunlight and artificial light can cause irritation. Photophobia occurs due to other diseases or conditions, such as migraines, virus-caused illnesses, or eye-related conditions. High percentages of people with certain conditions experience photophobia; for example, around 70 percent of those with dry eye, fibromyalgia, and ADD or ADHD experience photophobia. 

So, how can self-ordering kiosks take epilepsy and photophobia into account? Thankfully, kiosks are customizable, so businesses can take the following actions to improve their displays: 

  • Keep the brightness on the screen fairly low 
  • Avoid using patterns with contrasting colors (i.e. no stripes or checks) 
  • Use a minimalistic, muted color palette (i.e. black and white with a touch of color) 
  • Avoid implementing bright or neon colors, especially red and blue 
  • Decrease the speed of animations 
  • Keep the background-color the same 
  • Opt for simple animations (i.e. no flashing to change screens) 
  • Make the whole screen have a yellow-light tint 

Another solution is an extendable styluses, which can keep people further away from the kiosk screen, but it might be easier to simply modify the visual aspects of the display.  

GRUBBRR’s self-ordering kiosks, for instance, are completely customized for the business’s needs, which can ensure that the displays are safe for those with epilepsy or photophobia. Self-ordering kiosks are efficient tools that benefits customers and businesses alike. Businesses need to take action so that every person can comfortably and successfully use their kiosks.