USE - Institute for user systems engineering / Thomas Hofmann, Svenja Knothe, Rebecca Heinsohn
»The jury was impressed by the calm and structured display of complex information that the Integrated Control Center offers to drone pilots. The interface is remarkably clean and the iconography is clear. Information is clustered in a way that makes it easy for pilots to manage their fleet. All drone missions are managed centrally from a single control center. Notifications to pilots can be prioritized, and the highly automated centralized system cuts operating costs for customers. The ICC represents a convincing business case for the product and clearly shows the benefit that it brings to its customers.«Tracy Rolling & Gennett Aku Agbenu
And the Award goes to...
Three questions to the project team
What was the particular challenge of the project from a UX point of view?
Flying multiple drones simultaneously and remotely, that’s new. Operating this from a single site around the globe is an additional challenge. No one has ever done this before - nor developed an HMI or UX for it. The challenge was: how to display a very complex system in the background in reduced complexity so that an operator can still focus on his tasks while getting only the information that is relevant to the workflow step he is in. To make faster decisions. We also had to anticipate the user experience and workflows and implement it for users who couldn't imagine how different their work would be. So we had to design a future interface analogous to the MAYA principle for future work. Creating an interface between gamification and serious, safety-critical context.
What was your personal highlight in the development process? Was there an aha!-moment, was there a low point?
The most significant moment was realizing how important the dashboard is, with its real-time data on aircraft, helicopters and ships, is giving a supervisor complete situational awareness of what is going on around his or her flight operations. In the result, we have seen how closely the UX design match the future user requirements. From customers and users we've received feedback that this HMI is really an innovative one, that it allows tasks to be managed easily. In addition, we realized how well a collaborative process between designers and engineers can be when everyone involved is truly open-minded.
Where do you see yourself and the project in the next five years?
In five years mixed reality and collaboration, being developed by us, could support safe drone operations also in disaster situations such as large fires in a better way. A fully integrated workplace could become the standard for automated drone operations, as well as for mobile robots on land and sea. We have already received feedback that this HMI really meets future need.