The status indicator on the dashboard used to perform two functions – it only showed whether the device itself was turned off or on .
With the advent of new developments, not only the functionality of dashboards has expanded. The ways in which device status information is communicated to the end user have also changed. Devices have become more complex, but at the same time they should be clear and easy to manage. The human-machine interface (HMI or HMI human-machine interface) and the dashboard components directly are responsible for this – indication .
Dashboard indicator – what is it and which one to choose
The status indicator is a light that monitors the status and operation of the device.
Light signals are given in several ways:
• Via light guides (glass or plastic light tubes). Give a light signal to the dashboard screen
• Through the indicators installed on the dashboard. Help visually perceive the interaction of the operator with the machine
• Via touch displays . Color pulses combine with graphic elements for an intuitive display
The way the light is delivered doesn’t matter in the end. It is important to what extent the indicators cope with the task of ensuring the full interaction of the user with the device. This equally applies to both simple devices and tasks (the end of a cooking program in a multicooker, etc.), and complex indicators of modern devices (indicators of aircraft control dashboards, diagnostic equipment, etc.).
The role of indicators – what they are used for on the instrument panel or HMI
To develop a clear dashboard interface , you need to carefully consider the choice of indicators:
- preliminarily study the functionality of the device;
- analyze the possibilities ;
- evaluate dimensions and limitations .
Dashboard indicators should easily understand the processes of the device and help the user to easily guide the work.
Mistakes in the design of control indicators on the dashboard carry serious risks:
- lead to confusion in indicators ;
- negatively affect performance ;
- become the cause of emergency situations up to dangerous for the life of the direct user.
The main role of dashboard indicators is to show the status of the device at each stage of interaction and the reaction to control commands .
Development of dashboard indicators design – what is important
When creating the design of indicators, it is not enough to consider only the aesthetic side – the color palette and style of the brand. First of all, these dashboard elements must meet two requirements:
- be safe to use;
- improve device efficiency .
Indicators should be accessible and understandable to every user for easy interaction with the instrument .
When choosing the design of indicators, it is necessary to strive for an intuitive interface. But errors in the design of the indicator are increased risks during operation:
- complex or incorrect design will require increased emotional and mental stress of the user;
- the incomprehensible appearance of the indicators will lead to errors of perception and possible risks during operation, up to a threat to the health and life of the user and others.
This proves once again that the design of indicators should be done by professionals. The KLONA portfolio contains examples of completed tasks – leave a request and our specialists will contact you for advice and specific services.
Light indicators – where they are used
Control panel indicators are present on devices in various fields .
Indicators in industrial machines :
- have an intuitive design ;
- ensure an uninterrupted production process ;
- responsible for operational safety .
The design of the indicator directly affects the efficiency of devices and labor productivity.
At the same time, there are specific requirements for industrial dashboards :
- high degree of protection against moisture, dust, dirt;
- resistance to temperature fluctuations;
- vibration resistance .
Dashboards in transport
- give the user a picture of the state of all mechanisms and components of the machine (aircraft, boat, etc.);
- allow you to notice problems in time and make adequate decisions .
The following requirements are set for the dashboard of cars and other vehicles:
- to the quality of the visualization . Indicators should be intuitive;
- to the relevance of indicators . Indicators must provide true information online.
Medical equipment monitor indicators
Control panels in medicine :
- have a high degree of protection from the influence of the external environment and aggressive influences (chemicals, blood, etc.);
- are portable;
- characterized by an increased viewing angle .
In this case , human life depends on the accuracy of the indicators . End user – health worker must see in front of him clear graphics and clear visualization of indicators. It will help in diagnostics or in making operational decisions according to the sensors of the patient’s condition.
Food equipment control panels
In food production, indicator lights:
- control the state of all nodes, mechanisms and processes;
- are responsible for the correct and safe operation of the device.
- protection of the dashboard from moisture;
- resistance to high or low temperatures.
Dashboards of innovative industrial developments are often represented by touch screens with indicator lights .
Smart home control , smart watches, controllers of various types – the interface of the modern Internet of things implies a clear visualization for safe operation and making the right decisions .
Entertainment Control Panels
From specialty gaming rigs, audio equipment, telephones, to everyday life devices, the user is faced with the need to manage processes by responding to indicators . Their design will directly depend on the size of the devices and functionality . At the same time, the task will remain the same and the only one for all types of dashboards – to make interaction with the device simple and safe.
How to choose the right indicators for the control panel
The dashboard of devices includes light guides or PMI – elements attached to the panel . The choice of indicator type will depend on the features of the device :
- to denote simple indicators, PMI is suitable;
- for complex user-machine interaction, light guides or their combination with indicator buttons will be needed.
The choice of PMI design deserves special attention:
- the size of the indicators will depend on the dimensions of the control panel ;
- the color should cause the right reactions , and also match the brand of the device;
- the properties of the indicators must guarantee full protection and safe operation in a specific working environment, including external influences;
- the indicator lens must have special lenses for correct visualization at any time of the day and regardless of the viewing angle ;
- not the last value and power of LEDs – for industrial devices – up to 250 V, and for simple devices – low-voltage LEDs;
- the design of the indicator buttons should match the overall design of the device and be intuitive to the user.
The interface design of any product should provide simple and effective interaction. For smart IoT products, the aesthetic design of indicators has become another hallmark. Examples of such developments can be seen in the assets of KLONA:
How to make a dashboard indicator – what to look for
When choosing a visual language for instrument control panel design, consider:
- in what conditions the device will work and at what viewing angle the indicator will be available;
- how the indicators look and work on devices of the same brand or the same purpose , what choice will become for the user due to this the most logical, understandable and convenient ;
- what user experience the device has, which ensures the comfort of interaction – experiment during the development process with the number of indicators, color signals, their combinations;
- whether the indicator signals correspond to the values familiar to the user : red – alarm and warning, green – positive response, etc.
Developing the design of status indicators is a complex job that is responsible for interactions with the device and requires a professional approach to each stage.
If you do not know which indicator to apply, the KLONA team will suggest the right solution or develop a design for your project.