As an exercise I created a UI for a crane-operating chair for Connectitude. It was a previous job they tackled and it was interesting to see what my take on it became.
The brief wanted me to focus on automation for an operator chair. It was to be obvious and easy to use, and take up only one 7″ touch screen of 800×480px resolution. During my meeting with Connectitude I got to hear some of their thoughts concerning the project. It was an interesting task as KLAB were initially thinking that buying a bigger screen would be the solution for accommodating over (if I recall correctly) 30 buttons/settings.
There wasn’t much information in text about crane operating chairs, but there were definitely videos. Anyways, when I began researching more into it, It made sense to set the physical operations of the crane apart from the control of the chair. What better way to do so than by separating their interfaces? From their earlier versions of the chair you can see that the chair had it’s own buttons/switches, which were separated physically away from all the other controls and were closer to the chair.
As I looked at what was good practice I formulated some guidelines for the color and form. It should be high contrast for visibility. Have simple, straightforward indications (the icon language should be easily recognizable). And we want a distinct yet sensible interface.
For convenience and comfort, I mapped a comfortable button size (which I tested on my own) and spaced them to see how many I could fit on a 7″ screen. At this stage I also concluded that there were 5 interactions one could have, if necessary. Press, Press & hold, Toggle, Toggle between and Toggle conditionally.
What follows are my notes which show a pretty clear process and some more of my thoughts before finalizing the interface.
You may also see the full presentation as a PDF from here.
Although it came a lot later, a nice confirmation came in when my partner and I were visiting a furniture shop: