The Touchscreen Construction Process: Things to Consider Beyond the Interface
By Peter Winston | Friday, May 15, 2015
Here at ICS demand for our touchscreen-related services has grown by leaps and bounds. Interest in (and respect for) the skills we’ve developed over 25 years of experience has risen as organizations realize the myriad engineering and design elements to be considered that are necessary to truly deliver on a world-class touchscreen interface. The interest and appreciation is coming from both existing and new clients:
Existing clients -- established storied companies with long product pedigrees -- who are transitioning their designs away from using traditional physical controls such as knobs, dials and switches towards using touchscreen displays. At the same time as transitioning to a touchscreen, they’re often updating other aspects of the product: the physical design, the processor(s) and the software system’s architecture.
(ViewPoint Touchscreen Interactive Kiosk 2015 - Designed and Engineered by ICS)
New clients -- emerging companies or divisions within established companies -- who are delivering a first product to market with a touch interface from the start. They may be entering a crowded market with established products and need to distinguish their product entry with innovative capabilities, or it’s a “green field” product where there are no existing expectations for product features or performance.
In either client scenario the product development process invariably struggles because regardless of whether it’s a transition product or a completely new product, there are issues that need to be considered collectively through the human factors, hardware, software and UX/UI layers. Each aspect requires deep domain knowledge spanning multiple disciplines.
We’ve performed all of these aspects enough times at this point we’ve joked about offering a comprehensive “Touchscreen Construction Kit” that would include:
Early stage human factors and UX/UI design to ensure that your UX/UI implementation will both 1) meet the user’s requirements and 2) run smoothly on the chosen hardware Knowledge of processing units and embedded processors -- Systems on a Chip (SOCs), Single Board Computer (SBCs), Graphics
Processing Units (GPUs) etc. -- and the capabilities and quirks of each -- and how you can choose the best one (or the best product family) for your product
Touchscreen technology and display controllers, to help choose on-screen elements and interactions that enhance both the attractiveness and usability of the design
Familiarity with different development environments, SDKs and development stacks, to help choose the best combination of software packages and tools for development today and future proofing and maintenance going forward
Training and support for your team members to maximize their efficiency
(We’ll cover each of these in detail in upcoming posts)
ICS has amassed specialized knowledge and skills that make us adept at ushering an entire product from concept to completion. Beginning with the end user in mind, our skills start with the user experience / user interface (UX/UI), through the various layers of the software stack from the middleware to the underlying operating system (OS), for maximum performance on any given hardware.
ICS is one of the few organizations that has all of these elements in place and synchronized to deliver an optimal product. Through our years of consulting on hundreds of products, ICS is uniquely positioned with expertise across the numerous domains: expertise that’s available to you and your product team. We’ve done hundreds of projects along these lines, both in part and in whole: we know where the pitfalls lie and can guide you around them.
Because of our experience and depth, ICS delivers on a comprehensive touchscreen solution of hardware, software and UX/UI design and implementation services that will both accelerate and streamline your product development process.