12 min read

The 5 Steps of an Effective UX Design Process for Embedded Graphics (Part 1)

By Alecia O'Brien on Oct 19, 2020 2:44:49 PM

It's common for one to be confused about the difference between UI and UX design. User experience design is really about the holistic process used to drive research and design decisions, in order to better match end user needs and expectations. UI design, is in the design programs, creating the wonderful, modern that are appeasing to the eye, with all its animations and haptic feedback loops provided to deliver the intended end user experience. It's integral that they work in lock-step with one another if the end user experience to be provided is one that will keep winning and keeping existing customers.

It's not surprising then to hear that the elements of user experience design and principles equally apply for embedded GUI and user interface design.

To that effect, we teamed up with Crank services partner and UX design experts Fresh Consulting, to provide some advice for our UI and UX design community currently working on graphics projects, but specifically for embedded devices. In this two part series, learn the 5 steps to a holistic UX design process, techniques for developing UX personas, and see how the UX design process can be applied in reality - with a case study review of the UX design process behind a touchscreen restaurant menu.

Rather watch the video than read? Click here to download and stream the video of this presentation, 'Designing for optimal UX on embedded HMI systems'. 


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24 min read

Creating the embedded GUIs within IoT devices of tomorrow with NXP & Crank

By Jason Clarke on Oct 13, 2020 10:02:35 AM

What the future of connected, IoT smart devices looks like for embedded systems built with NXP processors and Storyboard GUI development tools.

Rapidly changing technology has a way of sneaking up on us, and if we aren’t prepared to take advantage of those changes, companies will be left behind. This truth is becoming evident in the world of embedded graphics and IoT. The latter is constantly driving the demand for higher performance and lower power processors, with rich graphics as a cornerstone of an exceptional user experience.

In this post, Rob Cosaro, IoT technology officer at NXP, together with Jason Clarke, co-founder and VP Sales and Marketing at Crank look at the evolving tends in computing, the next wave of IoT and AI led computing, the challenges and opportunities ahead with IoT devices from a hardware, graphics and user experience perspective.

Don't have time to read and would rather listen/watch the presentation? We get it.  Watch it here.

Watch Video - How to create IoT devices of tomorrow with NXP processors and Crank Software GUI development tools

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6 min read

How to amp up your embedded system with an IOT cloud connection

By Jason Clarke on Sep 25, 2020 7:15:00 AM

Let’s say you’re building a smart home appliance. Or a connected health vital-sign monitor. Or an IoT factory-control panel. Or a next generation car. What do all of these things have in common? They’re all embedded devices that rely on a cloud connection. Unfortunately, many developers are building their cloud connection to support one or two specific use cases, leaving an amazing resource underutilized. There are myriad ways your device’s cloud connection can make your embedded product stand out in a crowd. Let’s explore a few of these design considerations.

High impact user experiences

One of the most powerful ways to use a cloud-connected device is to integrate it into a user’s lifestyle. A tie to the rest of a user’s life can give your device powerful new features, much appreciated niceties, or remote capabilities.

One of the clearest use cases is providing remote access to smart home devices. Emerson’s Sensi touch Smart Thermostat lets homeowners control their home’s thermostat, turning heat down or simply monitoring the house’s temperature while they’re away. Let’s not stop there: what about predictive maintenance? Sensi also gives homeowners a heads-up when filters need replacing or furnaces need servicing before they stop working.

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6 min read

The Future of Touchless Public Touchscreens and Embedded GUIs

By Jason Clarke on Sep 16, 2020 8:19:20 AM

It’s clear that COVID-19 has people rethinking long established cultural habits, such as shaking hands and standing close to others. It is also reshaping our technology habits, as people become less comfortable with touching the public surfaces of self-serve supermarket displays, information kiosks, and ATMs. Leading hand-tracking and haptics tech company, Ultraleap, recently published their 'The End of Public Touchscreens' study whitepaper with research that confirms this: people are rapidly changing their attitudes about public touchscreens due to the virus.

For those of us building embedded systems, this raises the important question: how do you best design a touchless public interface in a hygiene-sensitive society? What is the future of touchscreens in a world where a touch can mean anything from connection to bioweapon? While devices reserved for private use – those in the home or on one’s person – can be used without consideration of contamination, from here on out any devices used by the public may need to reconsider their embedded graphical user interface.

Creating a dialog with gesture-based GUIs

One way to create a touch-less GUI (or user interface, UI) is to use gesture recognition technology. A gesture-based UI creates a dialog between human and machine where the machine serves up screens full of information, and the human provides input through natural hand motions in front of (or above) the screen.

While gesture technology has been widely available since the Microsoft Kinect released in 2010, the most widespread public acceptance beyond gaming has been in automotive applications used by BMW and others. The benefits of a gesture controlled HMI are many: there are no hygiene issues with touching surfaces, there is no mechanical wear of buttons or switches, and it can be operated in areas with loud background noise.

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2 min read

How to choose the correct hardware for embedded GUI apps

By Scott Snider on Sep 9, 2020 9:00:46 AM

When building an embedded system there are many choices you will face when deciding the correct hardware and software combinations to best get your product to market. Hardware capabilities, performance, power requirements, memory types, OS implications, packaging options, platform scalability and interoperability are just some of the considerations you will have to work through in the early stages. Most of these decisions can be answered with research, testing, and peer discussion. When it comes to your GUI application however, we’re committed to ensuring that it is created using all the best practice principles our customers have learnt along the way.


In our downloadable Best Practices Using Storyboard guide, our goal is to ensure your Storyboard application is created from the onset with these best practices in mind, and optimized for the hardware platform you’ve chosen. As a platform-agnostic framework, Storyboard can be used to build applications on a wide range of hardware platforms, and as such, your decision to use Storyboard should not influence which hardware you finally select.

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