Reimagining UI Design at the Smart Kitchen Summit

***I asked Nick Deeble, our enterprising sales manager, to pass along his thoughts and musings regarding his recent attendance at the Smart Kitchen Summit. Rarely short on words, Nick had the opportunity to talk with a lot of attendees about their challenges with developing UIs for appliances.***

Smart kitchen Crank Storyboard Suite embedded UI development

We recently had the privilege of being a sponsor at the Smart Kitchen Summit, an event that’s a bit of a departure from the shows we regularly attend. SKS is a specialized event, bringing together everything from the latest technologies impacting cooking to robotics to organic farmers and evolving food distribution methods.

Jason Clarke, Crank Software co-founder, participated in a panel discussion “Exploring Voice and AI-Powered Interfaces For The Kitchen.” As an industry veteran in embedded UI development, Jason has years of experience and understanding of user interaction with embedded devices. He’s seen the evolution of technology as many companies try to solve the common problem of visually representing the communication between people and products. Crank’s mission is to simplify bringing that interaction to life. Check out the following interview that Jason did with the great folks at The Spoon:

In addition to the speaking opportunities, we showcased a variety of kitchen appliance demos at the show and had the opportunity to meet with attendees to discuss their challenges with designing and developing products for the embedded market. Included in our demos was an oven control panel provided by GHSP running a UI designed and developed using Crank Storyboard Suite. Feedback on the demo was positive, with attendees being impressed by the aesthetic of the graphics, the fluidity of the animations, and the intuitive nature the User Interfaces Crank demonstrated. We received a lot of compliments about the performance, smoothness, and responsiveness of our UIs. One of our customers, who was showcasing a new appliance with a UI built in Storyboard, popped by our table to thank us for our customer focus and to point out how much better their UI was than the others they were seeing. We will never get tired of that type of feedback.

Challenges in designing for the smart kitchen

A few common themes popped up in our conversations with attendees:

  • Creating a professional and differentiated user experience for embedded devices can be challenging given tight timelines.
  • Because design change is inevitable and there’s a need to continually update UIs to respond to stakeholder feedback and evolving product scope, we had a lot of questions about how we enable iterating and testing UIs using Storyboard to ensure the delivery of a high-quality product throughout the lifecycle.
  • Embedded design and development often requires support for multiple markets, language translation, and custom branding.
  • There’s a shift from home appliances to home experiences. Connecting appliances together, connecting them to the internet, and communicating with them through a mobile device, are all part of the evolving vision of the kitchen

These were just some of the challenges that many appliance manufacturers wanted to chat with us about to hear how we’ve has built these capabilities into the Storyboard Suite GUI development framework. We are going to address this functionality and our thoughts on the future of designing and developing for smart kitchens in a future blog post.

If you want to see multi-market Storyboard Suite demos on your favorite platforms, download one of our easy-to-run demo images.

As always, we provide a full-featured 30-day evaluation for you to test drive Storyboard Suite.

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See scalable Storyboard demos on the Microchip SAMA5D2

Curious to see Storyboard Suite in action on your hardware? Our pre-built and packaged demos make it easy for you to test drive different types of applications designed for specific hardware platforms, letting you experience the powerful controls and smooth animations that create beautiful UIs and rich user experiences.

Scalable UIs across display sizes: SAMA5D2 demos for medical, white goods, and home automation

Storyboard applications are scalable across a variety of screen sizes and resolutions. Experience this on 480 x 272 and 800 x 480 displays with Storyboard demo images for the Microchip SAMA5D2 platform. These images include everything you need to get up and running in minutes, offering the following demos in both resolutions:

  • Smart washing machine – drill down into operational settings and track progress through cycles
  • Medical – browse through typical patient diagnostics, electronic health records (EHR), and security verification
  • Home automation – play with temperature controls, check out local weather, and customize lighting throughout the floorplan

Also included are instructions for flashing the image to an SD card and running it on your own board.

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To try Storyboard Suite for yourself, start your free trial now and see how easy it is to create beautiful embedded UIs from concept to production.

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Storyboard Suite GUIs at CES 2016

Crank Storyboard Suite at CES 2016

With 2015 winding down, we are busy preparing for an exciting start to 2016 with our much-anticipated Storyboard Suite 4.2 release and a number of technology shows. First up is CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas, January 6-9. If you are planning to be at the show and want to connect with us, send us an email. We’d be happy to show you demos of GUIs built with Storyboard Suite and give you a sneak peek at features we’ve been working on for our upcoming release.

Storyboard Suite GUI demos at CES

CES is an opportunity for companies to show off the latest in tech, so you’ll see a lot of cool products and cutting-edge concepts at the show. We are excited that Storyboard is the graphic design tool suite behind a number of rich embedded GUIs and HMI experiences to be showcased at CES.

From Automotive HMI Experiences to the Connected Home

Modern automotive HMI experiences require intuitive, high-performance GUIs to ensure convenience and safety. From innovative digital instrument cluster design to in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems, you’ll see examples of Storyboard Suite automotive HMI demos from many companies at CES, including VisteonTexas InstrumentsGreen Hills Software, and more.

Our homes are rapidly becoming smarter and more connected, leading to increased comfort, convenience, and security. CES provides a great opportunity to showcase smart home technologies, and Storyboard Suite is behind exciting home automation demos at the event. NXP’s Internet of Tomorrow Tour will be rolling into Las Vegas, and will be hard to miss, given it’s a massive trailer housing over 100 demos. On board is the home automation demo designed for FTF2015 by Crank Software and Freescale. Atmel will also be demoing a home automation application designed with Storyboard Suite.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of Storyboard demos at CES. You’ll find other applications and exciting projects at the show with stunning GUIs designed and developed with Storyboard Suite.

We hope to see you at the show.

GUI Designers: 3 Reasons You Should Register for the Storyboard Suite 4.x Webinar

***Now available On-Demand!***

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This webinar is now available on demand. To watch or download the recording, register below.
Register for Storyboard Suite October 29 webinarWhy watch the webinar? Because everyone loves a good list, here are:

3 reasons to register for the Crank Software Storyboard Suite 4.x webinar for GUI design

  1. You haven’t used Storyboard Suite. Yet. What? That’s sad. If you haven’t used Storyboard Suite for GUI design and development for your embedded application projects, you’ve been missing out on such great features as:
    • Photoshop import to kickstart your GUI design
    • Built-in simulator for prototyping
    • Animation Timeline to quickly and easily create and edit animations
  2. You are using an earlier version of Storyboard Suite. That’s awesome. But your design process could be even further optimized with some of the new features and enhancements we’ve added in 4.0 and 4.1, for example:
    • Support for collaborative, team-based design and development
    • Improvements to the Storyboard Designer UI for a more intuitive and streamlined workflow
  3. You already use Storyboard Suite 4.x but are hungry for more information. You might already be a Storyboard Suite 4.x champion, but you:
    • are curious to see if you’ve been missing out on features you aren’t aware of
    • want to ask questions to our ever-enthusiastic VP of R&D
    • are excited to find out what we’ve been working on lately

Whether you’ve never used Storyboard Suite for your GUI design projects, or you are a long-time Crank customer, our October 29th webinar will be useful for you. If your job description includes designing GUIs for embedded devices, building applications for the IoT, or creating awesome user experiences for stuff with screens, you should attend. We promise not to assault you with slides. After a quick high-level overview of Storyboard Suite for those new to our software, we will dive into some engaging demos of the tool suite.

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If you haven’t had a chance to use Storyboard Suite yet, feel free to download the fully functional free 30-day trial.

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See you on the 29th!

Walk-through of the Storyboard Suite Embedded Application GUI Demos at FTF 2015

While we were at Freescale Technology 2015, we shared several photos of the various Storyboard Suite embedded application GUI demos. We also posted a (very) quick look at an IoT demo designed with Storyboard Suite for a connected home.

Thanks to our friends at Freescale, we now have a more in-depth video of Crank Software VP, Jason Clarke, showcasing all of the application demos at FTF featuring Storyboard Suite. Check out this more thorough look at the connected home application.

Smart homes lend convenience to busy households. Well-designed home automation interfaces allow homeowners to interact with and control their homes in ways that maximize convenience and savings.

If those demos leave you itching to test drive the new Storyboard Suite 4.1 for your next well-designed user interface, download the 30-day full featured evaluation version today.

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