Not All Screens Are Equal

When considering a point of sale solution for your store, screen size is one issue that might come under scrutiny when choosing between an iPad point of sale solution or a traditional legacy system. It’s true that most legacy POS systems may have larger screens than the iPad’s 9.7-inch screen — however, is that really a benefit?

Not when you look at the full experience. Here’s why:

  • A bigger screen doesn’t equal a better user experience. While it’s important to have a screen that is easily readable, screen size is simply not the most essential component. What is important is choosing a point of sale system with a great user experience — one that enables you to easily access information, scroll and swipe from one screen to the next, and intuitively navigate menus. In contrast to computer-based point of sale systems that rarely have easily navigable interfaces, iPad point of sale systems make it simple for even a new employee to learn the system and process transactions quickly and efficiently.
  • Button size is more important than screen size. Button size, rather than screen size, has a much greater impact on a point of sale system’s usability. Most iPad-based point of sale systems include touchscreen buttons of at least Apple’s recommended size (44 x 44 pixels) — the perfect size for a typical fingertip. The majority of other point of sale systems do not use touchscreens at all; when considering your options, make sure that you choose a system that offers easy and fast accessibility.
  • iPads can be plugged in to larger monitors if necessary. In most cases, you will find that an iPad’s own screen should suffice for viewing your data and performing transactions. However, if you decide that you would like to view your records on a larger screen or display them to a bigger group, it is easy to plug your iPad into a larger monitor for viewing, including a TV or a projector screen.

If the iPad’s 9.7-inch screen size is still a hurdle that you find difficult to surmount, the Wall Street Journal reported in July that Apple has been testing new iPads with 13-inch screens. Though it’s still unknown if or when such devices will be commercially available, they could be a big benefit to merchants who want a point of sale system with a larger screen. In the meantime, though, consider trying out a POS system on the current crop of iPads and see how it goes. You might be surprised how comfortable you find it.