Dr. Scoresby Offers POS Pointers in ZDNet Article
(San Francisco, CA) Today, ZDNet published an article in which Dr. Kevin Scoresby reflects on POS research conducted across two continents. The article, How to Design a [POS] System that Everybody Hates, identifies seven common mistakes companies make with their Point of Sale:
- Failing to consider the end user. Most POS systems don't fully consider real-world situations, and employees develop workarounds to system limitations as a result.
- Creating conflicts with the real world. POS systems are often at odds with the ways customers actually order, sometimes presenting information and dictating flows that conflict with other inputs employees receive.
- Cluttering the screen with unnecessary options. Usually, POS systems are designed with the maximum number of buttons possible, and they disregard the current context or relative importance of the various options.
- Placing unnecessary burden on the cashier. Most POS systems don't have enough "smarts" and require cashiers to know more than is necessary about business rules, recipes, etc.
- Punishing the employee for customer choices. Many POS systems don't provide adequate functions to deal with the variables customers present, and their inflexibility often affects the experience of both customer and cashier.
- Making text hard to decipher. Typical problems include failing to consider the range of monitor sizes used in various locations, using ALL CAPS or very bright colors, and/or providing an insufficient contrast between text and background.
- Using color coding. Color can be helpful as a redundant cue, but many POS designs make life difficult for the approximately 10% of male cashiers who have some form of red/green color blindness.