I had the opportunity of designing a user friendly and accessible experience for a restaurant POS.view prototype
When I was a server, I lost $85 in tips one night due to the horrible UX design of our POS. I wanted to design a friendly POS experience that would have helped me and other servers while working in the restaurant industry.
The restaurant industry has one of the highest turnover rates which means new people are constantly learning the menu and being trained. Current POS systems are not as user friendly and require some time to get used to especially when not every restaurant has the same software.
In order to help soften the impact of servers joining the team and leaving soon after, I designed an app that is easy to use, provides menu information at an instant and avoids mistakes from happening in the first place. These were the project's objectives:
In order to better understand users, I created a survey using Google Forms. I posted the survey on Reddit's r/ServerLife subreddit, and other social media platforms. I received over 30 responses which gave me a good representation of servers. Here are some of the survey's findings.
User personas were developed from the findings uncovered from the surveys.
As a server I want to easily separate large parties and modify items so I can turn tables faster and earn more money.
As a server I want to easily see the ingredients in the menu items so I can modify the item efficiently and let guest know of potential allergens.
With a restaurant POS focused on the server's experience as opposed to just the customer's, some key differences are made. One of those is that a restaurant wants customers to explore the menu. On the other hand, servers need to find menu items fast with as few clicks or taps as possible.
Since most of the buttons needed to be visible for the user without having to scroll, I spent some time sketching to make sure I could fit important buttons and only show crucial information at a time.
The survey showed that the most popular handheld POS was Toast. With this in mind, I wanted to take advantage of some of the mental models users had created around a mobile POS like have a split screen that constantly shows the ordered food items and the total.
From the initial set of wireframes, I decided to change the color palette of the screens. Transitioning into a dark mode would be easier on the eyes of servers when working with dim lighting and it would also extend the device's battery life throughout the shift.
After spending some time mind-mapping, I came up with the idea of a tongue in cheek approach to the name. Piece of Shift as the normal, long format name and POS for short. After testing the name with several people, it got the wanted attention and stood out from the other brand names.
Keeping in mind that the restaurant owners and managers would be the direct clients, I took a similar approach to the logomark sketches. Using the words I uncovered with the mind map as reference, I began sketching to find similarities between them and ultimately chose a logomark.
To keep the image friendly and fun, I went with a typeface that reflected those characteristics. The pink reinforces the friendly vibe while also standing out. I chose blues for the inter
When designing the hi-fi mockups I implemented the blue shades and began adding the pictures of the food to really get a sense of what the interface would look like. The software would run on a 6.4 inch touch screen phone which would be big enough to have room for the interactions but small to be portable.
For the testing phase, I recruited participants who fit the personas defined earlier. Initially, I observed how the app flow felt, how many steps it took to achieve a desired result, and how simple the whole process was.
With an interface that has many variables and user flows, a lot of findings were found when running usability tests.
We started with three main problems—current POS systems are hard to learn, restaurants use different POS systems, and training new servers takes up too much time. This prototype solves these challenges by implementing images within the UI, ingredient information when the item is selected and an easy way to make modifications.
We started with two main problems—bus riders wanting to know what time the next bus will arrive at each stop and how much time they have to get to the bus stop. This prototype solves these challenges by displaying the bus stops near the rider, the upcoming bus, and what time it will get there in as few steps as possible.