Square designed a POS system that reduces all those devices into a single interface: an iPad. By attaching a card reader to an iPad, the POS system is all inclusive — the iPad serves as both the displays and the input via touch. The UX of this greatly reduces overhead costs on training as well as investment in equipment.
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Re: Square user study.

I did a UX user study on Square implementing it on a small business in minneapolis (MintPrintshop.com) and though the simplicity is incredible, I found that users of square in a small business setting still oftentimes need things like the receipt printer and cash drawer. Simply, I found that Square’s design is good but not a blanket solution to all small businesses. In conclusion — The “iPad only” solution does not entirely replace current POS systems for owners who have customers who depend on cash transactions and need tangible paper receipts for their old school record keeping — needless to say they are innovating toward the next step.

They’re just not entirely “there” yet, as now this user in minneapolis has to buy 5+ pieces just to get square to work with her business. (Things like Square’s stand, the contactless chip reader, the receipt printer, security for the device because iPad theft is large, etc.)

Moreover, the interface of over simplification actually was a liability, in that she (the user) can no longer take “work orders.” Something she’s dependent on, regarding an automated notes area for CRM. Over simplification to design for the sake of aesthetics can be just as deadly as too much interface noise. One needs to strike a fine balance for the user’s needs and not strip away for the sake of (however beautiful) “minimalism.”

Pic of us trying out the square stand during the usability study, finding that we needed to buy

Total costs for the study aggregate to over $1,000 to put square in place. A regular POS system is just under that.

Tip: Get to know your users and then figure out what’s necessary to strip away from the interface / what hardware is essential for the transition to one's product.

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