Human machine interface design (HMI) bridges the gap between the experience and the mechanical and digital world. At the end of the day, success in this area depends on the creation of HMI UI/UX design that is extremely intuitive and makes controlling machines a simple and pleasant experience.
HMI Design Studio
Modern HMI design requires a level of UX research and understanding that traditional platform design does not, as it is usually part of a larger mechanical system that has its own set of requirements and challenges. We simply cannot make the same assumptions we do with applications that work on standard computer or mobile environments.
Our Human Machine
Interface Design Process
Creating a successful HMI interface design is more about HMI UX than the actual UI. Delivering an interface design that is immediately used demands that we create a flawless user experience that needs no explanation and leaves plenty of room for human error, which is bound to happen. Beyond this, it is also super important to understand the working environment, as things like lighting, screen size, resolution, and other aspects of the working environment can have a huge impact on the user.
- Deep user research including:
- Needs, preferences and goals
- In depth interviews
- Development of detailed personas
- Ethnographic observations
- Define business objectives
- Define user goals
- Define functional requirements
- Define the purpose of the system
- Define what success looks like
- Map out information architecture
- Prototype/illustrate navigation flows
- Define individual flows per use case and every specific persona
- Outline overall structure of the platform and how each flow intersects
- Begin with low-fidelity wireframes for approval
- Iterate on initial wires to solidify layout and arrangement of elements
- Begin early exploration of design concepts and visual flows
- Build prototypes for testing as needed
Visual & Interactive Design
- Apply visual themes for consideration
- Embrace iteration to solidify visual direction
- Define how visuals will support the interaction with the platform
- Specify transitions, animations, etc.
- To achieve original goals for any human-machine interface design, designers need to plan for and conduct consistent refinements throughout the entire design development process where needed. We have no idea how things may change on both sides of the table and this is why a flexible and nimble team is essential.
Implementation & Development
- Involve development team early in the design process to receive buy-in
- Provide detailed design system to reduce confusion and dev questions
- Remain available for design support during bug fixing
- Identify potential issues for testing
- Identify and test all major flows and transitions
- Refine design and interactivity based on results of testing
- Complete design system to future-proof design
- Document every functional assumption
- Write comprehensive user manual if necessary as part of pixel-perfect design system delivery
HMI User Interface Design
How an HMI user interface design takes shape and is properly designed has been thoroughly detailed above, and to see how this design discipline takes shape can be viewed in some of our recent projects below.
HMI design principles dictate a unique challenge for design agencies like Fuselab Creative, as they need to incorporate all the keys to effective UI/UX design with one less well-understood requirement. HMI UI design needs to incorporate the kind of tagging, documentation, and meta-data that will allow for a seamless transition to what we all know is only a few years away, and this is voice user interfaces or VUI design.
Industries We Create
HMI Design For
Healthcare may be one of the most critical industries in need of human-machine interface screen design. This could be an X-ray machine, MRI, or any number of machines that medical providers interact with every day to diagnose and care for their patients. This also happens to be one of our favorite industries to design for, as it is always very meaningful and fulfilling work!
Design for human-machine interface device design goes back quite a few decades. Think about the first ATMs or POS systems. This is partly why this kind of design has become so sophisticated. However, the sophistication has been largely focused on human-centered design, making machines work as an extension of a user’s daily life and as comfortable as an easy chair.
Fleet managers and supply chain coordinators rely on intricate dashboards and monitoring systems that need to produce real-time in a way that is immediately usable. The specifications for these systems need to be thoroughly mapped out with documented flows before any kind of design work can begin.