Trends over time have shown the importance of user friendly machine interfaces. As the information that can be shared is growing, the possibilities in digital innovation are booming. Simple user interfaces (UI) like a mechanical light switch have evolved to home automation applications or smart city solutions (Graphical User Interface or GUI), just to name two.
The introduction of new tools and technologies (like internet of things, artificial intelligence or machine learning) have increased the level of complexity while the decision making based on the (nearly) live and accurate data is becoming the new standard. We want to use, monitor and manage products in ways that are self-explaining and logical. That’s why the interface hides the complexity and data from the user. Gesture and voice control are nice examples of intuitive user interfaces with complex technologies and logic behind it. So how can we make sure the solutions to our needs are built in the right way, taking into account all the shared data while the complexity stays hidden?
Why is the user interface such an important part to think about when developing a digital product in your innovation of tomorrow? There are several reasons.
Increasing use of technology
Let’s use “construction” as an example industry to illustrate some use cases that have led to the increasing use of technology, especially since the outbreak of the latest pandemic.
Safety has always been a well-known driver. Using drones to avoid high risk locations for workers is an obvious one, just like the use of wearables to keep track and guarantee social distancing. Of course safety regulations as well as legislation must be applied before using certain technologies, which sometimes may slow down the process.
Efficiency increase is another driver that has pushed the use of technology forward. Remote inspection of a yard to check the state of progress thanks to a web session on a smartphone or smart glasses enables the project leader to inspect more yards without the need of traveling from one site to another (or when home working has become mandatory for some colleagues).
Providing training to employees has proven to be time consuming, often without proper assessment of the improvement. Nowadays a lot of solutions help to train the worker (remote or virtual) and assist him/her on location when expert knowledge is needed at that specific moment in time.
The above mentioned use cases are only a few examples that explain why we’re building more technological solutions. So, let’s just summarize that drivers like (mental) health (short and long term), stress reduction, automatic and/or anonymous alarm systems, complying to all rules (big or small) as well as control, are the most common answers to the question why the use of technology is increasing.
As technology use is rising, the magnitude of data is becoming more important and difficult to manage without the support of sophisticated systems. Building more sophisticated solutions with user interfaces also result in the growing importance of user friendly graphical user interfaces, without a doubt.