User experience and user interface in industry

Industry and consumers have different requirements for the user experience (UX) and the user interface (UI). We value that.

Smartphones, smartwatches, tablet devices that have been integrated into our everyday life and are increasingly taking on the tasks that we previously did on a PC or laptop; E-banking via smartphone, communicate and orientate via smartwatch.

Smart gadgets, textiles, and wearables such as the “Hololens” data glasses from Microsoft are also expanding our lives with new data and opportunities and also enriching the game industry. Consumer electronics have made gigantic development steps in recent years. With these changes, numerous trends come and go with regard to the design of (graphical) user interfaces. But why doesn’t industry integrate them? Is this due to a conservative opinion?

If you take a closer look at the UX/UI requirements in the consumer as well as in the industrial work environment, one can already guess. The answer to this is varied and complex. In the industry, there are different tasks with different requirements, priorities, and effects. The interaction with the interface takes place under a completely different motivation than in the private sphere. In order to ensure safe operation for the operator and machine, it is important to consider the environment.

Safety in the work environment, data security, and efficiency are top priorities in the industry.
Stable, fast, and clear communication of information is the most important requirement for a good user interface in an industrial work environment. This is particularly critical since misunderstood operating elements can not only damage systems but in the worst case also endanger the life of the operator.

The information displayed must also vary depending on the operator.
Operators with different levels of responsibility should be able to efficiently operate systems tailored to their task objective and level of knowledge. It should be noted that, in comparison to consumer applications, the user has to be logged in for industrial applications. This also makes it possible to provide him with only those operating elements that correspond to his qualifications. This also helps to minimize the possibility of incorrect operation.

Design styles and color choices are important in the design.
An industrial production facility is a big investment. According to this criterion, the user interface should not only have an aesthetic, but also a timeless and sustainable design.

When designing user interfaces, colors should be used with caution and caution with regard to defined warning colors. If red is one of the corporate colors, it can be used as a stylistic device in consumer apps, for example in the mobile application of the Austrian Federal Railways. In industry, however, this is a warning color and should only be used as such to communicate appropriate urgency in emergencies.

We are always actively looking for the latest trends in the UX/UI area and evaluate their potential and added value for individual requirements in the various industrial fields of work.
If we identify potential here, these are incorporated into our concepts and considerations in order to guarantee the future-proof operation of the machines.
According to the motto: Saf into the future – with human ready.


This article was written by
Katerina Sedlackova UX/UI Design
October 13, 2020