PAR Workshop: Intro to POS Design
Part 2 of 2 – POS Screen Organization
Featuring Michael Bruns, Manager of Solutions Design, PAR Technology
When optimizing your POS interface, what are some rules to remember?
The main pillars of an efficient POS screen are color, proximity, flow, and screen changes:
- Color schemes should be deliberate, visually appealing, and consistent throughout. This reduces errors, helps organize menu items, and as The Dude might say ties the whole interface together.
- Proximity refers to how close certain function buttons in the menu and vice versa. The arrangement of buttons and proximity of similar menu items can go a long way in making it user-friendly.
- Flow of the POS interface should be easy to follow. Everything onscreen should be structured to manage orders quickly and efficiently and staff should be spending minimal time on manual entry.
- Screen changes should also be minimal, meaning that staff should not have to hop across multiple menu screens to make complex orders, keeping them easy to use and train new hires on.
Can you show us how this looks in practice?
Absolutely. Here is a real before-and-after example of UX design that I recently worked on for a client. This was their previous home menu screen:
This is complicated and disorganized. Difficult to understand where the order flow is or what is going on at any point. Buttons that have similar functions are not clearly grouped by proximity, color, or shape. Modifiers are stuck right in the middle of the screen and look more like menu items. The color choices are arbitrary and provide no visual cues for the user to distinguish between functions, menu items, etc.
Now imagine your staff trying to ring up a complicated order with lots of modifiers with the above UX. You can already see how their hand would be jumping all over, multiple screen changes would occur, and how there is no consistent flow. Just looking at it gives you a headache!
Here is how we redesigned the client’s home screen:
Right away we notice the menu is far simpler. Buttons are grouped by category and the most popular menu items have been given quick access to supports the order-taking flow. The buttons are also consistent in shape and look cleaner. Colors have been deliberately chosen to encode menu items visually (chicken items are red, salads are green, drinks are blue, etc.). Extra functions not directly related to the current order have been given tabs on the top right and are easier to access. Visually much more organized and far less headache-inducing!
The order flow has also been given due diligence. Now when you imagine staff ringing up an order, you can see how there is a deliberate right-to-left structure—menu items are entered on the right side, modifiers and options are on the left, next to the order list where items can be selected to modify. There is a giant helpful “Make Combo” button right where it needs to be. With this setup, the client could now make 80%-90% of their orders from the home screen, saving a ton of time. Payment was a snap too, with tender options programmed to pop-up in the middle modifier panel when needed.
What is an important insight you hope everyone to takes away from this two-part series on POS screen design?
Only that POS UX elements certainly deserve their due attention. Hopefully, I have shown how small adjustments can make big improvements in your day-to-day workflow. In many ways how your staff interacts with your POS is everything. Seemingly innocuous design choices can be game-changers when it comes to order accuracy, speed, and efficiency.
Please be sure to check out Part 1 of Mike’s POS Design Workshop in case you missed it!