Making the Square Register Stand
We’re primarily an online shop, but once in a while, we’ll host an open studio event, in which we open our doors to the public. Our first event was exciting and hectic. We greeted old friends and met new customers, many of whom were placing orders that night. Our hands were full, and with our next event less than two weeks away, we decided that a better solution was in order.
We find that the easiest way to take orders is using the Square Register app on our iPad. However, holding the iPad all night with the fragile Square card reader sticking out of the headphone port is not ideal. We wanted a station where we could secure the iPad and protect the protruding card reader—both from bumps and possible sticky fingers. The station had to be easy to use, and have a simple aesthetic.
The Square Register Stand has been a huge help to us. We think it could be useful for other small businesses as well, which is why we’re offering it in our shop. Buy the Square Register Stand »
We’re huge fans of Square. If you’re a small business like us, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. Square is a company that makes wonderfully simple iPhone and iPad apps that lets you take payments anywhere. After installing the app, you can request the company to mail you a free credit card reader that plugs into the headphone port of your device.
They recently launched Square Register (see video), which is a more robust version of their point-of-purchase app, made specifically for the iPad. This is what we’re using at our next open studio event, and what we designed the Square Register Stand to work with.
One of the most important goals for us was stability. Having the iPad and Square reader securely mounted in place is essential for making credit card swiping easy. We also wanted to reduce the risk of dropping this expensive piece of equipment.
2. Simple Design
We believe that good design should be beautiful, simple – and sometimes, invisible. It needs to fit into a variety of different environments, from a local coffee shop, to a booth at a faire.
Using an iPad as a point of sale station is useless if it isn’t secure. We wanted to be able to enclose the iPad in a strong case, and bolt it onto a counter if we need to.
Any fixture that is added to a store should echo the seller’s brand. We wanted to be able to provide the stand in different colors and materials, and allow a logo to be laser engraved on any flat surface.
Some small businesses don’t have a lot of money starting out. Trust us, we know. We wanted to make something that looks professional and trustworthy, without breaking the bank.
Making the Pieces
Putting it Together
A triple stack of the plywood is passed through the router to create a minimal, yet ultra sturdy support post. You can see here that we’re still experimenting with the final solution to key in and lock the end cap after inserting the iPad.
There is enough clearance to slip the iPad into the frame without stressing the wood or putting pressure on the iPad. Tight tolerances and precise measurements during production keep things from slipping around.
As designers, our work is never done. We’ll continue to improve the design as we use the app ourselves. If you’re a Square Register user and have some ideas for us to incorporate into the next version of our Square Register Stand, let us know! Email us at email@example.com, or leave a comment below.