The Importance of Printer Aesthetics and Ergonomics

Broaden your perspective to align with your clients and consider a printer's appearance and ease of use.

Epson OmniLink TM-m50II-H

The concept of the point of sale (POS) is changing to align with evolving business strategies. POS hardware is no longer installed at the back of the store or by the door, requiring customers to line up and wait in a queue. POS systems are increasingly tablet-based, sleek, moveable, and mobile – designed to enhance experiences throughout the customer journey. POS printer aesthetics and ergonomics must follow these trends.

What Increases the Aesthetic Value of a Printer?

Printer features can enhance (or detract from) a positive impression at the checkout or other customer interaction. John Choi, Product Manager for Epson America, explains, “Retailers are concerned with the details of how a printer looks, down to the printer’s finish and the quality of its construction. They want to put POS peripherals in front of their customers that are pleasing to the eye.”

He says a major consideration for retailers is cable management. A modern, tablet-based POS system will lose its appeal and require more space if printer installation involves a tangle of wires and cables. One solution is to give your clients the option of using wireless printers. However, some merchants need a printer with a dedicated connection for speed and reliability. Epson’s mSeries is designed to give these merchants a solution, offering tablet charging from the printer and facilitating data communication through a single USB cable.

Additionally, “The mSeries offer a USB peripheral device control port feature where merchants can plug in USB devices such as a barcode scanner or payment terminal to the dedicated USB device port, Choi says. “From there these devices can communicate to the tablet and be controlled through Epson’s SDK, providing a cable management benefit and overcoming the limited port problem with tablets.”

What ISVs Need to Know About Printer Ergonomics

If your solution is meant to be used on a countertop with a stationary terminal, printer ergonomics may not seem important. But reconsider. Sales associates will struggle to provide excellent customer service if they can’t see status lights on a printer under a counter or need two hands to tear a receipt or open the printer to change the paper.

Choi points out that merchants also need the choice of where the paper exits the printer. In some applications, a top exit configuration is preferable, and in others, the front is best. The mSeries also overcomes this challenge, allowing retailers to choose how receipts exit the printer while still allowing them to standardize printers across their operations because merchants can configure the printer either way.

Of course, if you develop software for mobile applications, printer ergonomics becomes even more important. Mobile printers must be lightweight, comfortable to carry, and easy to use when clipped to a belt or a strap. Choi says your familiarity with mobile printer options can help your clients select the model that’s right for them. “Traditionally there’s been a perceived trade-off between durability and aesthetic design in mobile printers. But now, with the latest mSeries models you no longer have to sacrifice one for the other, he says. “Today’s mobile printer offer both resilience and sleek aesthetics, so they don’t only perform in challenging environments but also look good.”

How to Give Your Clients the Best Options

RetailNOW 2024

To ensure you are giving your clients options that meet their standards for printer aesthetics and ergonomics, Choi says ISVs need to broaden their perspective. “Retailers tend to think more about how the printer will work for them on a day-to-day basis and how the printer can provide value to both operations and the overall customer experience,” he says. “ISVs think UI and how the printer integrates. They may undervalue how important aesthetics and ergonomics are to their clients, but they need to know those factors play a part in purchasing decisions.”

Dig deeper to learn more about printer features that will help your clients create POS systems that are aesthetic and ergonomic. It can help you increase user satisfaction and the value you provide to your clients.

Bernadette Wilson

Bernadette Wilson, a DevPro Journal contributor, has 19 years of experience as a journalist, writer, editor, and B2B marketer.

Zebra Workstation Connect
Bernadette Wilson

Bernadette Wilson, a DevPro Journal contributor, has 19 years of experience as a journalist, writer, editor, and B2B marketer.