6 Ways to Rethink Your Interface Design

May 22

Written by: Heather L. Sidorowicz
5/22/2014 10:48 AM  RssIcon

I recently had the opportunity to view interfaces (GUIs) from around the globe, from small companies to large companies, and you know what? We can do better. I get it; we are not graphic designers, but we certainly can instill ideas of graphic design into the one part of the system the client interacts with. Be it a remote, touch screen, or a tablet, we need to raise the bar.

Step into the Light

Lose the black background. It is dark and murky; it makes many colors and icons hard to see, and frankly, it is outdated. Look around at the design of the house, besides the theater itself, and most walls and rooms are not dark. They are clean and bright, inviting your touchscreen to be the same and complement the home.

 TV, music
 A picture icon is worth a thousand words. GUI by NTDesigns

Icons People

From youngsters to a baby boomers (whose eyesite may be not what it used to be), icons are easier to understand. Is it easier to hit a picture of a music note or a button that says, “Streaming?” Of course, we know what steaming means, but does the nanny, the wife, or the husband? Take a step back from our jargon and make it simpler. This goes for lighting design, too. Installing a lighting system with lots of buttons that are hardly readable is no better than installing a bank of light switches across the wall.

Less is More

Just because you may want to adjust the color and hue of your new flat screen every other day does not mean the client does. Look at each page of your interface as an advertisement or a billboard—you only have three seconds to read it. Now decide what buttons you really need. If you just have to add all the buttons that the AVR remotes comes with, add a hidden or extra page and keep it out of site for the most part. Keep each page clean.

Backgrounds should also be simple without the addition of fancy photos behind the buttons for they make everything harder to read. If the client demands his new car or a family photo be a part of the interface, then place it next to the buttons, not behind it. Let your screens breath.
 
 
Blueprints are for Architects and Builders

There is a reason people go have to go to school to learn to design and read blueprints, and it is not so they can put them on a touchscreen. Find a better way to convey the message, for this is your canvas.

Create the Home Page for the Home

Your main home screen should give “at-a-glance” information. Depending on your client's needs, this will change. If they commute, then traffic RSS feeds may be important. If you live in Buffalo, then you’ll want to know today’s weather (this time of year it could be 30 degrees or 80 degrees depending on the day). Should your client be a surfer on the coast of California, then he may desire a wave report (I’m sure such a thing exists, right?). Talk to your client and make their life better with this new amazing technology. Give them the information before they have to ask. (NOTE: If you have sold a system that cannot give this information cleanly and simply, don’t “make” it work. Leave it be.)
 
GUI by NTDesigns 
 
 
Buy the Brilliance

If you’re not a designer at heart, then subcontract or purchase it from someone who is. There are some amazing companies out there that “get it,” and can offer a better experience to your clients. Companies like NTDesigns offer stunning themes for purchase, and before you think you cannot afford it, there are some Crestron themes for only $199.

Companies like Fregosa Designs can take over the whole program for you from afar (See Todd Puma’s blog: Choosing the Right Third-Party Programming Partners). You’ve worked hard selling, designing, installing this amazing system that practically defies gravity, and now there is nothing wrong with using experts to be the ‘icing on the cake,’ and blowing away your clients expectations.
 
As an Industry, we can do better when it comes to the one part of the system the client actual touches. I am sure there are some amazing designs out there that I have not had the pleasure of experiencing, but as a trade, we need to improve. Rethinking your interface will not only up your game for your clients but will improve and grow the industry as a whole. Let’s agree to do better.
 
Heather L. Sidorowicz is the president of Southtown Audio Video in Hamburg, NY.


Your name:
Gravatar Preview
Your email:
(Optional) Email used only to show Gravatar.
Your website:
Title:
Comment:
Security Code
CAPTCHA image
Enter the code shown above in the box below
Add Comment   Cancel 

 

Archive
<May 2015>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
262728293012
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31123456
Monthly
May 2015 (8)
April 2015 (15)
March 2015 (14)
February 2015 (11)
January 2015 (16)
December 2014 (12)
November 2014 (10)
October 2014 (19)
September 2014 (21)
August 2014 (13)
July 2014 (15)
June 2014 (12)
May 2014 (12)
April 2014 (14)
March 2014 (15)
February 2014 (14)
January 2014 (24)
December 2013 (11)
November 2013 (12)
October 2013 (15)
September 2013 (19)
August 2013 (18)
July 2013 (19)
June 2013 (12)
May 2013 (18)
April 2013 (17)
March 2013 (13)
February 2013 (16)
January 2013 (26)
December 2012 (9)
November 2012 (11)
October 2012 (16)
September 2012 (11)
August 2012 (15)
July 2012 (13)
June 2012 (8)
May 2012 (9)
April 2012 (10)
March 2012 (7)
February 2012 (11)
January 2012 (14)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (12)
October 2011 (8)
September 2011 (4)
August 2011 (7)
July 2011 (11)
June 2011 (12)
May 2011 (8)
April 2011 (6)
March 2011 (9)
February 2011 (10)
January 2011 (9)
December 2010 (4)
November 2010 (7)
October 2010 (4)
September 2010 (9)
August 2010 (7)
July 2010 (8)
June 2010 (12)
May 2010 (6)
April 2010 (8)
March 2010 (10)
February 2010 (11)
January 2010 (1)
December 2009 (6)
November 2009 (6)
October 2009 (11)
September 2009 (6)
August 2009 (4)
July 2009 (4)
June 2009 (5)
May 2009 (7)
April 2009 (9)
March 2009 (7)
February 2009 (9)
January 2009 (8)
December 2008 (9)
November 2008 (6)
October 2008 (7)
September 2008 (7)
August 2008 (3)
July 2008 (5)
May 2008 (1)
April 2008 (4)
March 2008 (3)
February 2008 (5)
January 2008 (2)
November 2007 (1)
October 2007 (4)
September 2007 (2)
August 2007 (3)
July 2007 (4)
June 2007 (6)
May 2007 (6)
April 2007 (4)
March 2007 (4)

 

Skip Navigation Links.
Skip Navigation Links.
download

You Need to Be Human in This Digital World
Read More»
By Heather L. Sidorowicz

With New Technology, Best is Always Better Than First
Read More»
By Todd Anthony Puma

Work It! A Running Playlist to Get You Through Your Day
Read More»
By John Sciacca

Cutting the Baby in Half: Mediating Customer Complaints
Read More»
By John Sciacca

8 Things to Look for in a Rep Firm
Read More»
By Heather L. Sidorowicz

Slide Show
Slide Show

Audio Video Systems, Plainview, NY
Slide Show

Station Earth, Fergus, Ontario, Canada
Slide Show

Audio Command Systems, Westbury, NY
Slide Show

Evolution Video and Sound, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
What You Need To Make Higher Level Summoning Pouches In Runescape
Read More»
How To Get Wow At No Direct Cost Forever-Never Pay Again!
Read More»
Ncaa Stadium Sounds: Method Ncaa 09 Feature
Read More»
Runescape Skiller Guide
Read More»
Top 15 Xbox 360 Shooting Games
Read More»
Ncaa Stadium Sounds: Related Ncaa 09 Feature
Read More»
Can You Would Like Get Madden 11 Entirely?
Read More»
Xbox Games Open Up New Gaming Scenarios
Read More»
Gastgeschenke Hochzeit oganisieren
Read More»
low price online store to buy cheap nhl 15 coins mind sharing some exp?
Read More»