What makes for a good design in cash registers?
If we told you to think of an ‘iconic design’, what might you think of? A Fender Stratocaster? A Ferrari? The Guggenheim museum? Something else entirely?
What marks these things as holding principles of ‘good’ design in our head? It’s an interesting intellectual exercise to try and dissect the question, because all-too-often we think of good design as something instinctual. And indeed, whilst some people certainly seem to have a natural eye for it, in fact, it can be potentially as much of a science as an art.
Pulling apart the aesthetics
We can start with the truly superficial. Interestingly, looking at all of the examples above, they are the embodiment of smooth, flowing lines. Sleek curves. Metallic glint.
Undoubtedly, aesthetic ‘trends’ go through various evolutions. Brutalist structures – those monolythic cement buildings popular in the 1950s - were once considered to be the height of architectural inclination. Crisp, hard lines displayed through geometric shapes have – at times, and even today – seen immense popularity; think ‘Nordic Design’ particularly.
But the presence of smooth, curved lines is arguably the most timeless concept of design, because the very idea of them plays to natural psychology more than popular vogue. When was the last time you saw a truly straight line in nature? The curves present in leaves and flowers, in the movement of water, even in the human body; all of these things feel ‘natural’ to the eye, and therefore comforting as a form of design.
And the appeal of metal and glass? Surely that goes ‘against’ nature – since these are largely man-made creations? Well, yes and no. Whilst we find substances like wood warm, tactile and appealing, metal and glass hold one advantage over any other substance; the way they play with light. Far more so than plastic, metal and glass act almost like a pool of water, reflecting and refracting light – appealing to the core of what stimulates our human brains.
Production made possible
If it’s true that curves feel ‘natural’ to the eye, they should be timeless and present throughout the whole history of design, no? Why is it that we associate curves, metal and glass only with modern design? Why were designs of the past ‘boxy’, square and full of harsh right angles (think of the old Volvo cars, or 70s flat blocks)?
Quite simply, it was an issue of production. Whilst it might be almost impossible for nature to build a straight line, for people, it was always the easiest option.Which means that now – with modern production capabilities – we have the ability to create that which truly appeals to the eye, the mind and the soul.
Bringing these ideas into RCH design
With this brief assessment of basic aesthetic concepts then, the incredible visual appeal of the A-IRON can come as no shock. It plays on all of the elements listed above: the reflection of light from its metal surface, which are not just beautiful but durable and wipe resist. Smooth lines that calm the eye and sooth the soul, facilitated by the fact that all cables have been covered to reduce clutter.
But why does this matter? It’s ‘only a cash register’, right? Absolutely not. In the retail and restaurant business, what sets you apart is the atmosphere that you create for the customer. And that atmosphere is made up of details; big and small. Imagine spending hours choosing a type of cutlery that has the right look and feel in the customer’s hand, or carefully considering how to plate beautifully cooked elements of a dish, but simply dumping an old plastic EPOS in the corner. On paper, it sounds ludicrous, but unfortunately all too many businesses take this approach.
Your EPOS – and all of your business infrastructure elements – are just as important in delivering ambiance as the ‘key’ service elements. RCH knows this, and that’s why we build elegant design into everything we do.
Vision that goes beyond what the eye sees
This blog focuses on concepts of aesthetic design, because to us at RCH, it’s such a fascinating concept. But it’s only a small aspect of what ‘good design’ really needs.
Return to those examples at the beginning. They’re not just united by common aesthetic concepts, they’re united by the fact that from a performance point of view, they are some of the best in their field. The Guggenheim is perfectly designed to be an artwork in its own right, whilst never detracting from its purpose as a backdrop to art. A Ferrari is an incredible performance car, not merely something to be gazed upon. A Stratocaster delivers a sound like no other instrument.
And so it goes with RCH. Our designs are beautiful, no doubt. But they are also perfections of function. First and foremost, they are intuitive. And intuitiveness in a design doesn’t just stop you from pulling your hair out in frustration, it increases efficiency and reduces mistakes. Training to use an RCH EPOS such as the A-IRON is quick and easy. The business benefits are clear.
More than this, making use of cloud-based Android systems, it provides incredible levels of functionality that go beyond merely putting orders in or processing payments. First and foremost, with TSE compliance, the headache of tax reporting under German law is taken away. This is what good design is essentially about; soothing, relaxing, making life easier and more enjoyable – and not having to think about how to comply with complex fiscal laws is surely the definition of making life easier.
So when we ask what makes for a good design: our answer is beautiful aesthetics and efficient, practical benefit. And do you know what fulfils those two criteria perfectly? The A-IRON from RCH.