By the time most developers start working on printing, your app is almost complete or you’re fixing an old app.  You can’t figure out why it takes so much code to print something simple like some text or a table.  You are focused on just getting the code done and working so you can get back to the fun code. 


This is where I’m going to say wait!  What about the user experience?  This is where you will probably groan why?  Printers are not really part of the app.  They’re separate devices and you don’t have a choice about how they're designed. 


Part of user experience is understanding user interactions.  Your end user is interacting with your app, their mobile device or computer, the OS, the printer, the printout, and probably a few other things like a sidewalk or desk. 


Is the printer going to next to the user, or somewhere else?  Do you want them looking at your app, the printer or something else while they work?  What is the expected time it will take for the printer to start printing after the “print” button is hit?  Are multiple users going to be using the same printer, or visa versa? What happens if the printer is off or runs out of paper?  Is the printed image quality as good as you want it to be or does it look faint, small, or squiggly?


Some of these questions and the issues associated are why we originally created our Best Practices document.  As a start,  this guide will prompt you to consider how the printer should integrate with your UX.


Let me know what you think about UX as it relates to peripherals or if you have more questions to ask as a UX designer.


Robin West

Solution Architect

Zebra Technologies