designing a user friendly
restaurant POS

POS User InterfacePOS User InterfacePOS User InterfacePOS User Interface

POS | piece of shift

I had the opportunity of designing a user friendly and accessible experience for a restaurant POS.

view prototype

UX Research
UI Design


Competitive analysis
User surveys
User personas
User flows
Usability tests


Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Photoshop



losing $85 in tips one night

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.

F&D Cantina Lake Mary Mexican Restaurant
People at a restaurant
Server taking an order at a restaurant


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.

  1. Current POS systems are hard to learn and get used to.
  2. Restaurants use different POS systems
  3. Training new servers takes up too much time
Piece Of Shift size comparison


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:

  1. Take advantage of users’ mental models to create an intuitive experience.
  2. Provide valuable menu information quickly and reduce learning curve.


User Surveys

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.


Age of majority of users


iPhone users


Most used app

Tik tok

Favorite app

Fast money,
Easy cash

Most popular reason to become a server

Forgetting items

And making appropriate modifications is most common mistake made by servers


Only have one year of experience

2-9 guests

Average sized party


Most common POS used, followed by Toast


Have a handheld POS

Competitive analysis

Based on the responses I received from the survey and Reddit comments, I decided to explore Aloha and Toast



  • Industry standard
  • Most servers are used to the interface
  • Reliable
  • Easy to customize


  • Stationary POS
  • Outdated interface
  • Clunky
  • No gestures
  • Lacks visual interest
  • Screens calibration can be off
  • Constantly have to log in and log out
  • No pictures of food, which would have a lower cognitive load on server



  • Portable, hand-held devices
  • Sends orders to kitchen from the table saving time
  • User-friendly interface
  • Fast training
  • Ability to have menu in front of servers to aid in learning food and beverage options
  • Accepts payments
  • Split screen so that server can see order details at all times
  • Server can be logged in throughout the whole shift


  • Not very accessible
  • Small text
  • Small buttons
  • Buttons too close to each other and sometimes wrong buttons can be pressed
  • No gestures even though it’s an android touch screen phone
  • Not a lot of contrast between buttons and background
  • No pictures of food, which would have a lower cognitive load on server and showing guests what the food looks like
POS Competitive analysis between Toast go and Aloha

the user

User personas were developed from the findings uncovered from the surveys.


New Server
As a new server, Sam works to pay for her living expenses while going to college. She enjoys hanging out with friends and going out. Being able to work efficiently is one less thing to worry about when she has class exams to study for.
Sam gets really frustrated when she has multiple large parties to serve and has to modify items. She also dislikes having to split large parties’ checks because it’s time consuming and not very simple.
As a server I want to easily separate large parties and modify items so I can turn tables faster and earn more money.


Experienced Server
Chase didn’t go to college because he found himself comfortable with the easy way of making money in the service industry. He’s been in the industry for over 5 years and  enjoys going out with friends, playing video games and going to the gym. As a server he wants to save up enough money to buy a house and move up to be a manager.
Chase hates forgetting side items or warning customers about potential allergens in the food. He gets flustered when he has to multi-task.
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.

user Flow

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.

POS FlowchartPOS FlowchartPOS Flowchart


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.

POS Sketches

Putting it all together—wireframes

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.

POS User InterfacePOS User InterfacePOS User Interface


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.

POS User InterfacePOS User InterfacePOS User InterfacePOS User Interface



Naming the app

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.


Logomark – Sketches

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

Piece of Shift LogoPiece of Shift Brand Identity


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.

POS User InterfacePOS User InterfacePOS User InterfacePOS User Interface

Testing & iterations

Usability tests

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.


  1. How easy is it to find menu items?
  2. How intuitive was the process of separating orders?
  3. Did user flows match server’s real scenarios?

What was done

  1. Tested 5 users (servers and non servers)
  2. Collected data and iterated designs based on feedback

user feedback

With an interface that has many variables and user flows, a lot of findings were found when running usability tests.

POS User Interface
POS User Interface
POS User Interface
POS User Interface

End result

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.

POS User Interface

Interactive prototype

End result

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.

Omnibus app screens
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