University of Twente Student Theses


Human Machine Interface : configuratiemethode

Evers, G.J. (2017) Human Machine Interface : configuratiemethode.

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Abstract:GAIN Automation Technology is an automation company in Gorinchem. For most of their projects a Human-Machine-Interface(HMI) is used. This HMI designed from the programmers’ perspective, rather than the final user. Image one displays an old HMI currently in use. For these reasons, GAIN set out an assignment to improve their Human Machine Interfaces (HMI’s) in two major ways. Firstly, they wanted to improve the overall style and usability of the HMI for their clients. Secondly, GAIN wanted a configuration method that could be used by GAIN to generate new HMI’s in the future. To do this a main research question was stated: How can an HMI with a professional appearance be created, which makes the final product more user friendly and applicable to all projects of GAIN? In the first phase of the assignment, the old HMI’s of GAIN are analysed based on their functionality and users as well as the requirements necessary to improve the usability. The primary focus is placed on the different screen sizes, colour and how the HMI can maintain the focus of the user. Another part that is investigated is how GAIN can keep improving its HMI’s utilizing the outcome of this assignment. In the end of this phase, the requirements and wishes that will be used for the evaluation of the final concept are listed. These are then used as an outline for the next phase. In the initial part of the second phase, a case study of an older project of GAIN is performed. This project was used to generate different HMI-concepts for big screens of over 900dp wide. The HMI’s used by GAIN always consists of a “fixed part” and a “variable part”. The fixed part contains the elements that can be seen on every page where the variable part houses the variable content for every page. Firstly, three different styles for the homepage are created. The first concept has a low contrast and doesn’t contain a lot of colours, the fixed information is placed in the header of the page. The second concept has a light colour and uses light blue as an accent colour with the fixed information divided over the header and the footer. The third and final concept has a dark coloured border which contains all fixed information. After this, the other Image 1. One of GAIN's old HMI's HMI-pages like parameter pages, trend pages, alarm pages and log-in pages, are designed for every concept. In the end of this phase the different concepts were presented to GAIN. They chose for the style of concept three as they decided it was the nicest and clearest. However, there were still some adjustments needed to develop the third concept into a final concept. These refinements will be made in the next phase. The last phase, where the final result is created, is divided into two parts; the concept refinement and the configuration method. At first, the refinement of the final concept will be dealt with. Utilizing the outcome of the second phase, a final concept is created for every separate HMI-page. After this it was time to scale the big HMI to medium screens for tablets and small smartphone screens. As seen in images two, three and four. After the initial part of this phase, the final concept was evaluated using the listed requirements and wishes established in the first phase. The second part of the last phase deals with the configuration method for the future HMI’s. A guideline document for every screen size is created that defines what every specific part looks like and how they can be used in future HMI’s. After this, some databases are created using different pre-designed HMI-elements. These elements can be changed easily in Adobe Illustrator to adjust them to a specific HMI or size. To Image 2. New HMI for a big screen align these elements correctly, an Illustrator template is created where the elements can be placed on a grid. Finally, this method was tested by two GAIN employees, they experienced it as a fast and effective working method. After finishing the assignment, there is still a big step that needs to be made by GAIN. To aid this process some recommendations are formulated. At first, GAIN should program all the elements, so it can be easily implemented in future HMI’s. Secondly, GAIN should scale all HMI-elements if a screen size differs from the ones used in the databases. In this assignment, only the most relevant sizes are taken in to account. Another recommendation for GAIN would be to ds to investigate which functionality they want to use on smartphones. Although a new style has been developed, GAIN still needs to convert over the exact functions and features requested by the customer. The biggest and last recommendation is that GAIN needs to develop new unique HMI elements according to the designed style. For this they should look at the already developed elements and copy the style
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:20 art studies
Programme:Industrial Design BSc (56955)
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