About Crank Jennie

Jennie used to dabble in code, but a love for sentences and the oxford comma lured her to pursue a career in writing and storytelling. Although she works primarily as a writer, she also volunteers as a mentor for organizations that teach girls and women the basics of web design, development, and WordPress. She loves cats.

Innovation in voice-controlled HMI experience at Embedded World

Voice controlled Storyboard GUI with Snips AI

Sometimes I yell at my oven in hopes that it will sense my desperation and cook dinner faster. Sadly, my oven doesn’t listen to me. Perhaps it needs a technology upgrade. Like our new Crank smart oven.

We debuted a couple of new Storyboard multimodal HMI demos at Embedded World last week that incorporate voice as an input option, including the Crank smart oven. Snips voice technology runs completely on-device which keeps data private and allows for offline functionality. Combining Storyboard’s scalable, beautiful GUIs with Snips innovative voice platform on the high-performing NXP i.MX 8M is a recipe (that’s kind of punny) for a successful HMI experience. Check out the following video from Embedded World to see this demo in action.

As always, we provide a full-featured 30-day evaluation for you to try out Storyboard Suite first hand. The evaluation contains our latest release, Storyboard 5.2.


Visit Crank Software at Embedded World 2018

We are putting the finishing touches on the last of the demos and getting ready to head to Embedded World 2018 in Nuremberg, Germany, February 27 – March 1. This year, we will be filling our booth with embedded application UI demos built in Storyboard Suite across a number of platforms. Our UI design gurus will be on hand to showcase the latest features and capabilities in Storyboard Suite, our design-centric development framework for building beautiful UIs for embedded systems. Stop by 4-459 to say Hi! and check out the demo applications we’ve designed. While there, ask us to show you what’s new in Storyboard Suite for designers and embedded systems developers.

Try out Storyboard GUI demos on embedded platforms

Visit our booth to see multi-market Storyboard demos on an incredible range of platforms, including:

Our UI demos cover a wide range of markets and embedded applications, including automotive, home automation, white goods, medical, and kiosk solutions. All demos have been designed and developed in Storyboard Suite, using the latest features from our upcoming 5.2 release.

You’ll also find Storyboard demos in other booths at the show, including:

Follow us on Twitter to see photos and videos from the exhibition floor throughout the week. We’ve equipped Jason with a new video gadget, so we are aiming for 78% less shaking in our videos!

Check out the NEW!! Storyboard Suite 5.2

We are thiiiiiiiis close to releasing Storyboard Suite 5.2, so we are excited to show off the features and capabilities we’ve added for the entire embedded UI design team. Stop by the booth and ask to see it in action. Check out our new artboard import, Sketch integration, Storyboard Connector, compare and merge tool, and other exciting functionality.

If you want to get together with us at Embedded World, please contact us to set up a meeting. Alternatively, just drop by our booth and chat with us. We are friendly Canadians and we’d be happy to talk with you about embedded UI design,

As always, we provide a full-featured 30-day evaluation for you to try out Storyboard Suite first hand.

StoryboardTrialBtnSee you at the show!


Kickstart embedded UI development with Photoshop artboards

The following is a post from Fancy Dan, one of our creative and talented in-house designers. Dan uses Storyboard Suite on a daily basis to create awesome user experiences for embedded applications. He also test-drives all of our new features, like this one!

***Spoiler alert! Awesome feature ahead!***

In the upcoming Storyboard Suite 5.2 release, designers will be able to make better use of Photoshop artboards. The benefit of artboards is they give designers the ability to see the application design on the whole within a single Photoshop file. It’s easy to copy content between artboards, view everything all together, and keep designs organized.

Sketch to Storyboard Suite

With the Photoshop Import Feature in Storyboard 5.2, artboards can be imported into Storyboard Designer as screens. Not only do artboards give designers a better way to view and design their embedded applications, but they also serve as a way to start building Storyboard applications quickly.

What are Artboards?

The artboard basics are fairly straightforward. Artboards allow multiple designs to be viewed and worked on in a single document. A five-screen application can be designed in Photoshop using five artboards. Instead of having to turn on and off combinations of different layers to present different views of an application, or having to manage multiple windows, designers can use artboards, which act as independent designs kept together.

The New Photoshop Import Feature

Most applications use items that are common between multiple screens throughout the UI. The same background layers or menu items often appear on multiple screens. To prevent importing multiple instances of the same content into a project, the Photoshop Import feature now uses the Storyboard comparator. The comparator detects duplicate content in the PSD file and consolidates that content into one object that’s shared across the application. Smart, right?

The name given to the artboard in Photoshop will also be the name of the screen in Storyboard. If your design uses multiple design grids, you can use different guide layouts on different artboards. You don’t have to start out a project using artboards. It’s easy to create artboards from groups and layers after the fact to better design and organize content.
Artboards make it easier for designers to visualize their application look and feel in its entirety throughout the entire process. Stay tuned for this awesome feature in our Storyboard Suite 5.2 release.

If you aren’t using Storyboard Suite for your embedded UI development, try version 5.1 today.


On-demand webinar: Creating stunning UIs for MCUs

Storyboard Suite applications scale a range of MCU to MPU hardware targets. We traditionally discuss MCUs in terms of low power, low-cost real-time operation, and MPUs as delivering high-performance and an impressive user experience. But is there a happy compromise in the middle of that range? Is there a way to get high performance without highly impacting cost and resources? Can you get low power while keeping a tight focus on usability and a modern design aesthetic?

Closing the gap with the i.MX RT MCU series and Storyboard Suite

Storyboard is tailored to run optimally and as efficiently as possible on specific hardware targets, so we are always able to take full advantage of each platform’s unique performance capabilities and limitations. We recently hosted a webinar with our friends from NXP to discuss UI development for the i.MX RT series of Cortex-M7 crossover MCUs.

Check out this short clip from the webinar, where Brian, Crank’s president, discusses performance considerations when it comes to working with frame rate and optimization:

Missed the live webinar? Now living with the deep pangs of FOMO (fear of missing out)?

You can sign up for the on-demand recording of the webinar and watch the entire thing over your daily coffee in your PJs. We won’t judge.

Stunning Storyboard UIs on the i.MX RT MCU

Here’s a detailed list of the content that you can expect to see in the webinar:

  • Overview of RT family of NXP processors
  • Highlighted features of the i.MX RT1050
  • About the i.MX RT105 development evaluation kit
  • State of embedded product industry
  • Live Storyboard Suite demo
  • Storyboard architecture and scalability
  • Memory requirements
  • Performance considerations
  • Running an app on real hardware
  • Quickly testing out a design update
  • Comparing differences between two design iterations
  • Q&A

We also created a Storyboard demo image for the i.MX RT1050, so check that out as well if you are working with the i.MX RT1050.

Download our full-featured 30-day FREE trial today so that you can try out some of what you learn in our webinars.


Video series: Getting started with Storyboard

It’s the holiday gift that keeps on giving. Storyboard Suite videos!!

Fancy Dan has been working on a new “Getting Started with Storyboard Suite” series of videos and tutorials to help new and existing customers learn more about some of the essential Storyboard features and functionality. We will be adding to this series in the coming months, so subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay in-the-loop.

Import artwork to fast-track embedded UI development

You’ve already designed your UI in Photoshop? With a few simple steps, you can bring that Photoshop content to life in Storyboard. You’ll be able to interact with your UI faster than you can say “Photoshop Import”.

Add screens, transitions, and actions to applications

Watch Dan build up his application by adding additional screens and creating transition and flow from one screen to the next.

Bring your UI to life with animations

Let’s make this UI move! Next up, Dan adds life and movement to the application with Storyboard’s animation features. Animations in Storyboard are simple to create, change, and refine.

Add interaction with trigger events and actions

Let’s tie it all together. In this video, Dan goes further into adding interaction and usability by attaching actions and events to the UI controls.

Download our full-featured 30-day FREE trial today so that you can try out what you see in these tutorials.