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Besuchen Sie uns auf der SPS IPC Drives 2015


Stop by our trade fair stand (7 - 480) at SPS IPC Drives between November 24 and November 26, 2015, to find out how innovative IT solutions in mechanical engineering can be used to generate genuine added value.

See the virtual world with your very own eyes and find out what new opportunities data glasses and augmented reality applications in mechanical engineering have to offer. In our example, observers can view additional information, such as added value or maintenance instructions, which makes their work a great deal easier. The major benefit of data glasses lies particularly in the fact that, while wearing them, the observer has their hands free and can thus directly follow the instructions in the data glasses.

Ergosign will be sending out its sincerest congratulations to celebrate Inosoft’s 30th birthday, so you are warmly invited to come along and enjoy a slice of birthday cake at 3.30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 24. The fact that Ergosign and Inosoft will be raffling a customized complete HMI package among all visitors to their stand is the icing on the cake.

Ihre Experten für User Interface Design von medizinischer Software - auf der MEDICA


Unfortunately this article is only available in German.

Treffen Sie die Experten unseres Medical & Pharma-Teams auf der MEDICA - vom 16.-19. November 2015 auf dem HEALTH IT FORUM in Halle 15.

An unserem Stand haben Sie dieses Jahr die Möglichkeit, die neue Smartwatch-Komponente unserer weiterentwickelten Show Case App zur Schmerzerfassung auszuprobieren. Hierbei zeigen wir beispielhaft alle Schritte vom Usability Engineering bis hin zur fertig validierten Software.

Besuchen Sie dazu auch die Vorträge unserer Medical & Pharma-Experten Alexander Steffen und David Detzler zum Thema „Benutzerzentriertes User Interface Design einer mobilen Schmerzerfassungs-App gemäß IEC 62366“.

COMPAMED SUPPLIERS FORUM Montag, 16.11.2015, 12.30 Uhr
MEDICA CONNECTED HEALTHCARE FORUM Mittwoch, 18.11.2015, 13.50 Uhr
MEDICA HEALTH IT FORUM Donnerstag, 19.11.2015, 11.00 Uhr

Wir freuen uns auf Ihren Besuch!

10 challenges to face designing UIs for industrial context


Author: Jan Groenefeld (Senior UX Designer, Lead Industry Solutions)

Would you like to discuss this topic, click here.

1. „Make it like the iPhone“

->  It has been written so much about the iPhone-factor, but as it is still a valuable requirement we should make sure to understand the underlying meaning of this common cite. Avoid thinking of Apple as the company itself, think of a good and functional ecosystem that combines services and devices. Moreover, consider the will to reduce complexity and at least putting the whole product in a visual appealing wrapper that gives a holistic user experience.

2. „We want Touch - Everywhere!“ (Because the marketing department said so)

-> As a consultant take your chance to keep control over decisions concerning the right interaction method and input for the specific usage and context. Touch is not the holy grail of simplified application input. Especially applications with the need for high efficiency and actions that have to be performed quickly - often under critical system conditions - are generally expected to work better with classical mouse and keyboard interaction.

3. Get familiar with Industry 4.0

-> Respect and know the diverse opinions and views about Industry 4.0. The topic itself is widespread from technical aspects like IoT, Networks and Smart Factory to security aspects as well as ethical questions. As a UX designer you do not have to face them all (alone), but knowing them helps to bring projects in the right direction and use the drive for innovation of this trending topic.

4. Fight for your right to make a contextual analysis

-> More than any other business the industrial sector tends to avoid the effort of conducting a contextual analysis upfront the design-phase. Do your best to convince them of the significance. Not only your customer learns that he indeed does NOT know anything about his end users and their way to work, the contextual inquiry gives you important insight in the environment (e.g. light, noise etc.) as well as helping tools outside the application (e.g. notes on machine adjustments etc.). 

5. Project-ability as a key success factor in the long term

-> Remember the project-ability of your design as a key success factor in the long term. Everyone is talking about making the UI user friendly. But who is caring for the engineers that build the system up? These engineers are mainly responsible for the final application’s design quality. Remember that a user interface for a machine often consists of many hundreds of separate screens that have to be managed. So give them a good „manual“ and show them a comfortable way to achieve that. To actively involve them in the design process through workshops for instance is as important as creating a sophisticated style guide documentation.

6. Do the groundwork, then head for innovation

-> This somehow refers to bullet 5) and the need for project-ability. If you want the freedom to design with as less limitations as possible, you first have to create confidence that you will NOT make the programmer’s live more complicated. This is why it is often a good idea to start with some light cleanup of the given user interface as well as implementing some basic thoughts of UX design. If the groundwork is done and everyone speaks „UX“ then it is time to go on with the next steps.

7. Head for innovation, then do the groundwork

-> Having bullet 6) in mind sometimes the other way round seems to be the better option. The goal is to create something prototypical that everyone feels inspired by. Create a big picture that gives the customer the sense of a future finish line. In contrast to 6) this often seems to be the right way to go if you are dealing with people from the field of marketing.

8. Changing user roles

-> Be aware of the changing user roles that are strongly influenced by Industry 4.0. We expect that in the future you not only have to consider the needs of operators and service technicians. Moreover, the usage scenarios of these two target groups are expected to change from active operation to more passive monitoring. One step further highly automated environments like smart factories have the need for a new user role: We call him the „Mediator“. As a result of the increased overall system complexity this person should be responsible as a permanent „conflict manager“ that mediates machine-machine as well as machine-operator communication problems.

9. Matching UI Design and Industrial Design

-> Whenever you design a UI for a machine you have to consider a handful of given environmental requirements like the control panel with its hard keys or the placement of the control panel itself. At a certain point we often discover how contributing and helpful it would be if only some small adjustments in industrial design could be done to enhance support of the digital interface. The digital interface as well as the control panel with its buttons and keyboards should be considered as one unit that has to be ergonomically redesigned. This is the point where an industrial designer should be consulted.

10. Have fun and inspire!

->  Typically, as a UI designer in industrial context you are dealing with people that are very capable of the technical and mechanical aspects of their system. They tend to be (very) conservative about changing one of these - often in the fear of complicating their work in programming and system engineering. By inspiring them with good UX design it is likely that these programmers are infected by some enthusiasm which can help giving their best to implement what you have designed - independent of the underlying visualization technology. This „team up“ often is one of the most important key factors for the successful and lasting implementation of UX design and philosophy in an ongoing project. 

Review of the symposium in Egerkingen


Jan Groenefeld presented the technology trends of the future on 8 September 2015 in the Hotel Egerkingen. He focused on modern input devices like Oculus Rift and Leap Motion.

Stefan Niermann of Inosoft GmbH then showed how, by using the right strategy and the right tools, you can quickly achieve a perfect UI result and introduced VisiWin for this, the modern visualisation software.

Afterwards the workshop participants could design their own user interface for a specific task and test tomorrow’s technology trends for themselves.

Thanks from all the speakers for the interesting questions and stimulating discussions in Egerkingen.

Companies run in Zurich – Ergosign was there


The call to “Get off your office chair and put on your trainers” was followed by three keen Swiss colleagues who joined in the B2RUN in Zurich for the first time. The starting signal was at 7pm on 2 September 2015 in the Hallenstadion, which was also the finishing line. All three mastered the distance of about six kilometres with flying colours. A nice touch was the fact that the organisers of this run, InfrontRingier, gave CHF 1.00 to the project “Laureus Girls in Sport” for every runner. This project supports the participation of girls of all ages in sports and helps to pass on knowledge about nutrition and health.

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