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Thumb through the pages of this magazine or any other recent issue of iVT and you are sure to fnd a dozen or more examples of fat-panel displays used in, or available for use in, industrial vehicles. Like laptops in the personal computing industry, touchscreen handsets in the mobile telephone business, and tablet computers in the publishing world, multifunction fat-screen displays are fnding all manner of applications in industrial vehicles. They are being used to present vehicle information that was once shown with analogue gauges, to control various settings of the vehicle, manage vehicle attachments and implements, monitor and control inventory, and provide routing and work-related instructions to operators. There is every reason to believe that multifunction displays will see even more widespread use in industrial vehicles in the coming years. One of the most popular articles I have written for iVT was on the effective use of colour on vehicular displays, including sound colour coding, and the like. In keeping with the display guideline theme of the earlier article, these pages provide guidance on the design of text and related line elements on displays. The mere existence of powerful, low-cost display technology available for use in i ndus t r i a l vehicles does not a u t o m a t i c a l l y translate to a display that is legible, easy and comfortable to read, and easy to understand and use. Usually it is up to the designer or even the programmer of the device to lay out the information in an orderly and comprehensible fashion. The multifunction display is, indeed, a blank slate. Through it the designer can add value and utility to the vehicle and system. If poorly executed, however, the multifunction display can become a source of frustration and even design-induced operator error. Human factor researchers have spent decades studying what makes displays legible and illegible, and this information is directly applicable to most display implementation projects. Multifunction displays, particularly the touchscreen variety, are literal windows of opportunity for addressing all manner of information and control needs. They are also a means by which a designer or programmer can add unwanted complexity and confusion to the operators task. With this in mind, the following pages provide general guidance on key attributes of characters and the basic design elements used in fat panel displays. Follow these guidelines and rules toavoid common display implementation pitfalls. Character size and viewing distance Characters shown on a display should be sized for worst-case viewing conditions. Among other things, poor viewing conditions can be brought on by high daytime ambient luminance, low ambient luminance at night, vehicle vibration, refections, dust and even fngerprints on the display. Some drivers may be older and lack the visual abilities of their younger co-workers. All in all, it is best to establish minimum character sizes based on the worst case scenario. Symbol or character size is best defned as the visual angle subtended by the symbology (at the operators eye) in minutes of arc. The equation used to calculate visual angle is: height = distance x (tangent(degree)), where: height = height of the symbology, distance = distance from the viewers eyepoint to the display, and height and distance use the same unit of measure. a set of design rules to help ensure that your next display development effort produces images and screens that vehicle operators will find easy to readand useCharaCter referenCeeLeCtrOnICSiVT International Off-Highway 2011 130Thumb through the pages of this magazine or any other recent issue of iVT and you are sure to fnd a dozen or more examples of fat-panel displays used in, or available for use in, industrial vehicles. Like laptops in the personal computing industry, touchscreen handsets in the mobile telephone business, and tablet computers in the publishing world, multifunction fat-screen displays are fnding all manner of applications in industrial vehicles. They are being used to present vehicle information that was once shown with analogue gauges, to control various settings of the vehicle, manage vehicle attachments and implements, monitor and control inventory, and provide routing and work-related instructions to operators. There is every reason to believe that multifunction displays will see even more widespread use in industrial vehicles in the coming years. One of the most popular articles I have written for iVT was on the effective use of colour on vehicular displays, including sound colour coding, and the like. In keeping with the display guideline theme of the earlier article, these pages provide guidance on the design of text and related line elements on displays. The mere existence of powerful, low-cost display technology available for use in i ndus t r i a l vehicles does not a u t o m a t i c a l l y translate to a display that is legible, easy and comfortable to read, and easy to understand and use. Usually it is up to the designer or even the programmer of the device to lay out the information in an orderly and comprehensible fashion. The multifunction display is, indeed, a blank slate. Through it the designer can add value and utility to the vehicle and system. If poorly executed, however, the multifunction display can become a source of frustration and even design-induced operator error. Human factor researchers have spent decades studying what makes displays legible and illegible, and this information is directly applicable to most display implementation projects. Multifunction displays, particularly the touchscreen variety, are literal windows of opportunity for addressing all manner of information and control needs. They are also a means by which a designer or programmer can add unwanted complexity and confusion to the operators task. With this in mind, the following pages provide general guidance on key attributes of characters and the basic design elements used in fat panel displays. Follow these guidelines and rules toavoid common display implementation pitfalls. Character size and viewing distance Characters shown on a display should be sized for worst-case viewing conditions. Among other things, poor viewing conditions can be brought on by high daytime ambient luminance, low ambient luminance at night, vehicle vibration, refections, dust and even fngerprints on the display. Some drivers may be older and lack the visual abilities of their younger co-workers. All in all, it is best to establish minimum character sizes based on the worst case scenario. Symbol or character size is best defned as the visual angle subtended by the symbology (at the operators eye) in minutes of arc. The equation used to calculate visual angle is: height = distance x (tangent(degree)), where: height = height of the symbology, distance = distance from the viewers eyepoint to the display, and height and distance use the same unit of measure. Thumb through the pages of this issue, or any other recent copy of iVT, and you are sure to fnd a dozen or more examples of fat-panel displays used in, or available for use in, industrial vehicles. Like laptops in the personal computing industry, touchscreen handsets in the mobile telephone business, and tablet computers in the publishing world, multifunction fat-screen displays are fnding all manner of applications in industrial vehicles. They are being used to present vehicle information that was once only shown with analogue gauges, to control various settings of the vehicle, manage vehicle attachments and implements, monitor and control inventory, and provide routing and work-related instructions to operators. And there is every reason to believe that multifunction displays will see even more widespread use in industrial vehicles in the coming years. steven Casey, ergonomic systems designiVT International Off-Highway 2011eLeCtROnICs131One of the most popular articles Ive written for iVT was on the effective use of colour on vehicular displays, including sound design rules for colour contrast, colour combinations, colour coding, and the like. In keeping with the display guideline theme of that earlier article, these pages provide guidance on the design of text and related line elements on displays. The mere existence of powerful, low-cost display technology available for use in industrial vehicles does not automatically translate to a display that is legible, easy and comfortable to read, and easy to understand and use, however. Usually it is up to the designer or even the programmer of the device to lay out the information in an orderly and comprehensible fashion. The multifunction display is, indeed, a blank slate. Through it, the designer can add value and utility to the vehicle and system. If poorly executed, however, the multifunction display can become a source of frustration and even design-induced operator error. Human factors researchers have spent decades studying what makes displays legible and illegible, and this information is directly applicable to most display implementation projects. Multifunction displays, particularly the touchscreen variety, are literally windows of opportunity for addressing all manner of information and control needs. They are also a means by which a designer or programmer can add unwanted complexity and confusion to the operators task. With this in mind, some general guidance on key attributes of characters and the basic design elements used in fat panel displays are presented here. Following these guidelines and rules will help to avoid common display implementation pitfalls. Character size and vie