Next Level HMI & Technology
With the mission "Total Gear Solutions", Gleason Corporation leads the market for gearing systems. The new HMI enables uniform operation for machines at all locations worldwide. Operators can interact with the machine more easily than ever before. The new interface supports them in their daily work and shows the value and technology of the machines to the outside.
Gleason's vision is to unite all machines, no matter at which company plant they are produced, with one interface and one control. The interface should universally fit all machine types and all Gleason Industry 4.0 functions. Web technologies were chosen to provide the best user experience and flexibility while keeping the development costs reasonable.
Read how this difficult task of creating a uniform interface could be accomplished.
Developing a UX Strategy for HMI Development
The 2.5-year-long collaboration with Gleason has evolved into a strategic partnership. Our projects include the development of a UX strategy, technology selection, software architecture and development, and an intensive knowledge transfer.
Taking a strategic approach to HMI development enables collaboration across departments. Processes and workflows evolve to constantly develop the product further and find the best solution iteratively while building knowledge and experience.
A User Experience with True Value
Our goal is to support the user and make the operation of the machine as simple, safe, and as fast as possible. For this purpose, we developed a UX concept that supports the mental model and minimizes cognitive load. The main menu got intuitive icons. Overall, the menu is structured in a way that users do not "get lost" in the application, always knows where they are in the application, and can "get further" with minimum clicks. Besides, there are many intuitive shortcuts. Visualizations play an important role in giving the user more context, e.g. about which parameters they are about to configure.
Good user experience often remains invisible – unless it is missing!
If errors or incorrect parameter entries occur, user guidance helps to quickly identify and correct them. Thus, the user interface significantly accelerates workflows and supports at the right place and time.
Designers & Developers Work Hand in Hand
We emphasize that for an HMI project to be successful and meet budget objectives, the product owner, UX designer, and software developer need to work hand in hand. All three parties must communicate efficiently to satisfy user needs and ensure the feasibility of features in an early stage (before the actual implementation starts). Therefore, a single source of truth must be created, like a design system. The design system is the base where design decisions are communicated and documented.
Only in an iterative and agile environment could we work efficiently with four different locations (Munich-Ludwigsburg-Switzerland-USA). Through the combined competence and decisions thoroughly based on research and knowledge, Gleason and interfacewerk reached solutions that make the interface unique in its functionality and groundbreaking in its UX. We are very happy to be able to work with Gleason on these modern challenges for the next generation of machine tools.
„With interfacewerk we had a reliable partner who helped us taking a big step forward with our machine software UI.“Josef Zettl
Global Software Project Manager, Gleason