So, your company needs a new printer (or two or more) and you’re trying to decide what kind to purchase. While factors like running cost and brand will likely play a role in your decision, it’s also important to consider how easy the printer is to operate. This post will provide eight tips for ensuring your device is easy to use.
1. Try it out. Probably the best way to see if a printer if simple to operate is to try it out before making a purchase decision. This can be difficult if you are purchasing from a retail outlet (though you can at least get a feel for the interface), but if you are buying from an office equipment dealer this is a greater possibility. Have your sales rep show you how to perform main functions as well as any specific workflows you’re interested in.
2. Perform research. Companies like Keypoint Intelligence-Buyers Lab perform tests on office printers to determine their ease of use, reliability, and more. Consult the results of these tests, or see if your dealer has access to this information. Models ranking highly for ease of use and reliability (e.g., few paper jams) are certainly worth checking out.
3. Check out the manual. Take a look at the product manual to see how easy the instructions appear. While higher-end devices will likely have more complicated instructions, it can still be telling to see how they are presented. Are quite a few steps required for each operation, or are they kept to a minimum? What’s involved in replacing parts?
4. Consider the touchscreen. Many of today’s print devices have decent-sized touchscreens that operate similarly to a tablet computer. They are easy to interact with, and provide access to an array of apps that can help streamline document-related tasks. Find a model with a high-quality interface that can simplify job configuration and initiation.
5. Consider the apps. If your printer has a touchscreen, it also has apps. Looks into the range of apps that are pre-installed on the device as well as those that can be added (and whether a fee is attached). Many people do not realize that apps exist for direct scanning to cloud locations like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box. Furthermore, apps can be customized for direct routing to company records systems.
6. Ask about mobile printing. With workers increasingly using mobile devices for work, there’s a greater likelihood they may want to print from their smartphone or tablet. Ask your dealer or salesperson about the ease of printing from a mobile device; for true confirmation, ask for a demonstration using different types of mobile products.
7. Ask about accessibility features. Some devices incorporate features designed for people with disabilities, such as adjustable control panels, simplified and/or backlit displays, and even voice-activated operation. These capabilities can help those with a disability as well as workers in general. These features may come standard on the device or be available as options.
8. Get IT involved. Bringing IT into the purchasing process can provide a fresh and informed perspective on what to consider in a printer. They are likely aware of any network settings that may interfere with the proper operation of the device, and can ask good questions around compatibility, usability, and reliability.
Download this free white paper to learn about key areas of ease of use that companies should consider when making a print device purchase decision.