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User Interfaces for
the Next Generation
Mobile POS-Terminals
Ivan Burmistrov
Prevalent POS-terminals
Wide-spread countertop and less-common
mobile POS-terminals and PIN-pads
The business context for mPOS
• By 2010, there appeared a gap between
advanced smartphone capabilities and tardy
mobile POS (mPOS) technologies
• Today’s consumers are tech savvy, and they
increasingly expect the businesses they
interact with to be as well
• It became clear that existing method of
servicing a customer by guiding them to a
stationary POS terminal is no longer feasible,
and retailers demanded a system of servicing
the customer at the point of contact,
regardless of where it takes place in the store
• In response to this demand, manufacturers
put next generation mPOS devices on the
market
Examples of hi-end mPOS terminals
New class of mobile gadgets
Leading manufacturers are VeriFone (USA)
and Ingenico (France)
Technical characteristics 1/2
• Powerful processor working under
specialized OS (Telium2 or VerixV)
• Touchscreen up to 3.7” (iPhone 4 had
a 3.5” screen)
• Signature capture
• Advanced multimedia capabilities
(including dedicated multimedia
processor)
• All types of wireless communications:
GPRS, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth
Technical characteristics 2/2
• Work with all types of credit and
loyalty cards: cards with magnetic
stripe, smartcards with a chip,
contactless cards
• Near Field Communication (NFC)
• Printer with graphics capabilities
Fields of mPOS use
• Retail
• Delivery
• Restaurants:
table-service
and fast food
• Drive-throughs
• Car parks
• Gas stations
• Transport:
air, rail, ground
• Hotels
• Stadiums
• Healthcare
mPOS restaurant scenario 1/6
Conventional restaurant scenario includes
social communication and rituals mediated by
a number of artifacts:
menu, order slip, fixed POS-terminal, check,
check holder, credit card, cash (tips for waiter)
mPOS restaurant scenario 2/6
mPOS terminals can replace all these
artifacts and process payments in situ
Instead of menus,
the waiter brings
a pocket-size mobile
POS device
mPOS restaurant scenario 3/6
• Customers browse the menu and make
selections
• Orders are forwarded directly to the kitchen
without waiter’s mediation
mPOS restaurant scenario 4/6
Video broadcast from the restaurant
kitchen: entertainment and learning
mPOS restaurant scenario 5/6
Finally, payment
with a credit card.
The check can be
printed or sent to
customer’s email
mPOS restaurant scenario 6/6
• Is everything OK? No!
• Probably, the main
question in this scenario
is: when and how would
the customer give a tip
to the waiter? There is
no ready answer to this
question
• If the waiter loses this
source of income, he will
not accept the mPOS
technology and even
may become a
neoluddite…
Recommendations
on the UX design
for mPOS terminals
Sources of recommendations
There is no established set of UX design
principles for mPOS yet
Our recommendations are based on the
following relevant sources:
 guidelines for mobile devices
 guidelines for touchscreens
 guidelines for self-service devices (NCR
2010)
 guidelines for tabletop POS terminals
 guidelines for tabletop touchscreen POS
terminals (Sjöberg 2006; Merrill 2008)
+ our own experience in UX design for
mPOS (by now, limited to a single project)
Recommendation # 1
• As shown in the restaurant example,
mPOS can radically transform the whole
retail and service ecosystem, its
artifacts, conventional courses of action
and established rituals
• Introduction of mPOS is not only about
new business processes and UIs. First of
all, implantation of mPOS requires
careful “reengineering” of the whole
behavior and social roles of customers
and sales personnel
• In particular, a step-by-step smooth
deployment of mPOS can be
recommended (Accenture 2012)
Recommendation # 2
Know the physical context of mPOS use
• It is mostly about ergonomics, especially
lightning conditions, ambient noise level,
and temperature environment
• Outdoors daylight or bright lighting in
floor spaces (eg supermarkets) make
information on LCD displays barely visible
• For bright environments, use high
contrast, larger text and dark on light
designs
• This is not the case for half-light rooms
(like restaurants): light on dark designs
are quite appropriate here
Recommendation # 3
Know the mPOS technology
• Be aware of the differences between
transmissive and transflective screens,
capacitive and resistive touchscreens etc
• There exist many publications on these
topics including those written from the
UX point of view (Merrill 2008)
• Select appropriate devices for use in
different contexts
• Also take into account costs associated
with different technologies
Recommendation # 4
Design differently for different classes
of users
• There are 3 classes of mPOS terminals
users:
 customers
 retail and service personnel (cashiers,
sales assistants, waiters etc)
 power users (system admins, cashiers
managers)
• Although all these users interact with
the same physical device, each class of
users should have different user
interfaces (see Recommendation # 5)
Recommendation # 5 1/2
Prioritize usability goals
Generally, for mPOS user interfaces for
retail personnel, the following order of
usability priorities can be recommended:
1. efficiency (least time to perform
transactions)
2. effectiveness (accurate information, easy
input and understandable output)
3. user satisfaction (based on first two in
work context)
4. ease of learning (reduce time to learn
system by making it comprehensible)
Recommendation # 5 2/2
Prioritize usability goals
For customers, the order is quite different
and actually inverse:
1. ease of learning (the very first interaction
with the device must be successful; support
knowledge transfer from other mobile
devices already familiar to users, eg
smartphones)
2. user satisfaction (supported by positive
first impression of the device; rich design
and multimedia capabilities)
3. effectiveness (accurate information, easy
input and understandable output)
4. efficiency (perform transactions quickly)
Recommendation # 6
Do not sacrifice usability to branding
• Businesses often insist that their mPOS
interfaces should follow their brand
application guidelines (brand book)
• In many cases this interferes with
usability requirements because a small
screen of a mobile device itself is
inappropriate place for exercising in
branding
• Prioritize usability first, with brand
reinforcement second in all situations
• Explain them that poor usability hurts
their image more than noncompliance of
UI to their brand book (NCR 2010)
Literature
• Accenture (2012) Making Mobile POS Happen: Five Ways Stores
Can Better Compete and Grow, Accenture |
http://www.accenture.com/us-en/Pages/insight-making-mobile-
pos-happen.aspx
• Merrill C. (2008) Touch-Screen Point of Sale Software: Strategies
for Evaluating the Technology, Frisco: Fujitsu Transaction
Solutions |
http://www.fujitsu.com/downloads/SOL/fai/retailing/touchscreen
-strategies_whitepaper.pdf
• NCR (2010) Contemporary Interface Design for Self-Service,
Duluth: NCR Corporation |
http://www.ncr.com/newsroom/resources/contemporary-
interface-design-for-self-service-an-ncr-white-paper
• NCR (2011) The Future of Retail Point of Sale: Traditional and
Mobile, Duluth: NCR Corporation |
http://www.ncr.com/newsroom/resources/the-future-of-retail-
point-of-sale-pos-traditional-and-mobile-an-ncr-white-paper
• Sjöberg S. (2006) A Touch Screen Interface for Point-Of-Sale
Applications in Retail Stores, Umeå: Umeå University |
http://www8.cs.umu.se/education/examina/Rapporter/SamuelSjo
berg.pdf
Thank you!
Contact:
ivan@interux.com

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User interfaces for the next generation mobile POS-terminals

  • 1. User Interfaces for the Next Generation Mobile POS-Terminals Ivan Burmistrov
  • 2. Prevalent POS-terminals Wide-spread countertop and less-common mobile POS-terminals and PIN-pads
  • 3. The business context for mPOS • By 2010, there appeared a gap between advanced smartphone capabilities and tardy mobile POS (mPOS) technologies • Today’s consumers are tech savvy, and they increasingly expect the businesses they interact with to be as well • It became clear that existing method of servicing a customer by guiding them to a stationary POS terminal is no longer feasible, and retailers demanded a system of servicing the customer at the point of contact, regardless of where it takes place in the store • In response to this demand, manufacturers put next generation mPOS devices on the market
  • 4. Examples of hi-end mPOS terminals New class of mobile gadgets Leading manufacturers are VeriFone (USA) and Ingenico (France)
  • 5. Technical characteristics 1/2 • Powerful processor working under specialized OS (Telium2 or VerixV) • Touchscreen up to 3.7” (iPhone 4 had a 3.5” screen) • Signature capture • Advanced multimedia capabilities (including dedicated multimedia processor) • All types of wireless communications: GPRS, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth
  • 6. Technical characteristics 2/2 • Work with all types of credit and loyalty cards: cards with magnetic stripe, smartcards with a chip, contactless cards • Near Field Communication (NFC) • Printer with graphics capabilities
  • 7. Fields of mPOS use • Retail • Delivery • Restaurants: table-service and fast food • Drive-throughs • Car parks • Gas stations • Transport: air, rail, ground • Hotels • Stadiums • Healthcare
  • 8. mPOS restaurant scenario 1/6 Conventional restaurant scenario includes social communication and rituals mediated by a number of artifacts: menu, order slip, fixed POS-terminal, check, check holder, credit card, cash (tips for waiter)
  • 9. mPOS restaurant scenario 2/6 mPOS terminals can replace all these artifacts and process payments in situ Instead of menus, the waiter brings a pocket-size mobile POS device
  • 10. mPOS restaurant scenario 3/6 • Customers browse the menu and make selections • Orders are forwarded directly to the kitchen without waiter’s mediation
  • 11. mPOS restaurant scenario 4/6 Video broadcast from the restaurant kitchen: entertainment and learning
  • 12. mPOS restaurant scenario 5/6 Finally, payment with a credit card. The check can be printed or sent to customer’s email
  • 13. mPOS restaurant scenario 6/6 • Is everything OK? No! • Probably, the main question in this scenario is: when and how would the customer give a tip to the waiter? There is no ready answer to this question • If the waiter loses this source of income, he will not accept the mPOS technology and even may become a neoluddite…
  • 14. Recommendations on the UX design for mPOS terminals
  • 15. Sources of recommendations There is no established set of UX design principles for mPOS yet Our recommendations are based on the following relevant sources:  guidelines for mobile devices  guidelines for touchscreens  guidelines for self-service devices (NCR 2010)  guidelines for tabletop POS terminals  guidelines for tabletop touchscreen POS terminals (Sjöberg 2006; Merrill 2008) + our own experience in UX design for mPOS (by now, limited to a single project)
  • 16. Recommendation # 1 • As shown in the restaurant example, mPOS can radically transform the whole retail and service ecosystem, its artifacts, conventional courses of action and established rituals • Introduction of mPOS is not only about new business processes and UIs. First of all, implantation of mPOS requires careful “reengineering” of the whole behavior and social roles of customers and sales personnel • In particular, a step-by-step smooth deployment of mPOS can be recommended (Accenture 2012)
  • 17. Recommendation # 2 Know the physical context of mPOS use • It is mostly about ergonomics, especially lightning conditions, ambient noise level, and temperature environment • Outdoors daylight or bright lighting in floor spaces (eg supermarkets) make information on LCD displays barely visible • For bright environments, use high contrast, larger text and dark on light designs • This is not the case for half-light rooms (like restaurants): light on dark designs are quite appropriate here
  • 18. Recommendation # 3 Know the mPOS technology • Be aware of the differences between transmissive and transflective screens, capacitive and resistive touchscreens etc • There exist many publications on these topics including those written from the UX point of view (Merrill 2008) • Select appropriate devices for use in different contexts • Also take into account costs associated with different technologies
  • 19. Recommendation # 4 Design differently for different classes of users • There are 3 classes of mPOS terminals users:  customers  retail and service personnel (cashiers, sales assistants, waiters etc)  power users (system admins, cashiers managers) • Although all these users interact with the same physical device, each class of users should have different user interfaces (see Recommendation # 5)
  • 20. Recommendation # 5 1/2 Prioritize usability goals Generally, for mPOS user interfaces for retail personnel, the following order of usability priorities can be recommended: 1. efficiency (least time to perform transactions) 2. effectiveness (accurate information, easy input and understandable output) 3. user satisfaction (based on first two in work context) 4. ease of learning (reduce time to learn system by making it comprehensible)
  • 21. Recommendation # 5 2/2 Prioritize usability goals For customers, the order is quite different and actually inverse: 1. ease of learning (the very first interaction with the device must be successful; support knowledge transfer from other mobile devices already familiar to users, eg smartphones) 2. user satisfaction (supported by positive first impression of the device; rich design and multimedia capabilities) 3. effectiveness (accurate information, easy input and understandable output) 4. efficiency (perform transactions quickly)
  • 22. Recommendation # 6 Do not sacrifice usability to branding • Businesses often insist that their mPOS interfaces should follow their brand application guidelines (brand book) • In many cases this interferes with usability requirements because a small screen of a mobile device itself is inappropriate place for exercising in branding • Prioritize usability first, with brand reinforcement second in all situations • Explain them that poor usability hurts their image more than noncompliance of UI to their brand book (NCR 2010)
  • 23. Literature • Accenture (2012) Making Mobile POS Happen: Five Ways Stores Can Better Compete and Grow, Accenture | http://www.accenture.com/us-en/Pages/insight-making-mobile- pos-happen.aspx • Merrill C. (2008) Touch-Screen Point of Sale Software: Strategies for Evaluating the Technology, Frisco: Fujitsu Transaction Solutions | http://www.fujitsu.com/downloads/SOL/fai/retailing/touchscreen -strategies_whitepaper.pdf • NCR (2010) Contemporary Interface Design for Self-Service, Duluth: NCR Corporation | http://www.ncr.com/newsroom/resources/contemporary- interface-design-for-self-service-an-ncr-white-paper • NCR (2011) The Future of Retail Point of Sale: Traditional and Mobile, Duluth: NCR Corporation | http://www.ncr.com/newsroom/resources/the-future-of-retail- point-of-sale-pos-traditional-and-mobile-an-ncr-white-paper • Sjöberg S. (2006) A Touch Screen Interface for Point-Of-Sale Applications in Retail Stores, Umeå: Umeå University | http://www8.cs.umu.se/education/examina/Rapporter/SamuelSjo berg.pdf