Heta talks about usability in environmental monitoring software
Industrial instrument manufacturer Vaisala has announced the newly designed interface of their environmental monitoring system. The Vaisala viewLinc environmental monitoring system provides monitoring, alarming and reporting for controlled environments. The newest version – viewLinc 5 – is releasing in fall of 2017.
Long used in pharmaceutical and aerospace manufacturing environments, the viewLinc monitoring system integrates a wide selection of data loggers, transmitters and connectivity options to monitor temperature, relative humidity, dew point temperature, CO2, differential pressure, door switches, and more.
Over the last two years, the viewLinc system has been redesigned to create a stellar user experience. The new system devices install quickly and easily, with little IT support needed, and integrate cutting-edge wireless technology that can send data with wired-equivalent integrity for over one hundred meters. .
From 2015 Vaisala User Experience Designer Heta Korvenranta has worked with her team to simplify and improve the viewLinc software interface.
We interviewed our customers to see which features of the software are important, and how we could improve them. The software now has a fresh new look, and we’ve done a lot of usability testing to ensure the software is easy to use.
Heta Korvenranta, User Experience Designer, Vaisala
“Getting started with a new software can be easy!” says Korvenranta. “We created tours that guide new users in setting up and using the system.” This latest version of viewLinc knows whether a user is new to the system or not, and based on that information, shows appropriate on-screen guidance prompts. The prompts are called “tours” because they give quick, brief instructions that allow users to perform functions immediately, as they learn.
One of the things Vaisala usability experts learned from interviewing viewLinc users was that some staff only go into the main software occasionally. In some cases they manage most of their viewLinc communication by mobile phone. In other cases they are a supervisor or manager and need not use the software often. These users still needed to go into the viewLinc software on a PC occasionally, but did not want to have to re-learn the software each time, especially if they only log in once or twice per year.
The new interface tours of viewLinc 5 will solve this problem by ensuring that on-screen directions get you started with basic tasks. Once a user has seen the tours describing the basic functions, they don’t auto-load again, but remain available on-demand.