Analysis of the Design Principles of the Membrane Switch Interface of Electronic Products

Label:Membrane Switch, Human Machine Interface, Design Principles, Electronic Products

Apr 15, 202116660

Analysis of the Design Principles of the Membrane Switch Interface of Electronic Products

As a commonly used control components, membrane switches have always been favored by users and designers. This article analyzes how the interface design of membrane switches can effectively achieve the unity of aesthetics, efficiency, ease of learning and fault tolerance from the perspective of ergonomics and design psychology. So that the product is more in line with the user's operating habits and enhances its humanized operating experience.

Membrane buttons have simple structure, convenient assembly and novel appearance, and at the same time have a series of features such as dustproof, waterproof, explosion-proof, anti-corrosion, and long service life. The application in instrumentation and electronic equipment has always attracted people's attention. Especially for multifunctional, intensive, and intelligent electronic products, membrane switches have become the first choice in product design. But for the current membrane switch interface, most manufacturers only pay attention to whether its function is realized, and there is relatively little research on its human-machine comfort and user psychological needs.

Problems such as rough interface graphic design, inconsistent with the entire product, and cluttered buttons often appear. JRPanel, as a company that has been rooted in the membrane switch industry for 11 years, will take some excellent membrane switch interface designs to analyze the issues that need to be paid attention to in the membrane switch interface design.

1. Target requirements of membrane switch interface design

From the perspective of ergonomics, the membrane switch is a control device. Its design should not only conform to the user's physiological characteristics in terms of shape, size, position, and operating force, but also meet the user's habits, aesthetics, and taste. Wait for psychological needs.

Most products using membrane switches have display devices, so to be satisfactory, it is necessary to integrate effective control and display function combinations, clear and unambiguous marks, and very easy-to-operate buttons. In this way, the user will not be rushed in the operation, thereby affecting the mood of the work or the experience of use, because no one wants to operate a complex and troublesome product. In general, the interface design target requirements of membrane switches mainly include the following points:

(1). Aesthetics, that is, the interface design is coordinated with the design style of the entire product, conforms to people's aesthetic habits, and can reflect the industry characteristics and brand image of the product;

(2). Ease of learning, that is, it conforms to the user's cognitive habits and cognitive characteristics, and can be accepted quickly when first used. And can adapt to the cognitive ability of users of different ages, occupations, and education levels;

(3). Efficiency, that is, in order to achieve a certain goal in the process of interface operation, it can reduce operation steps and save operation time, thereby improving the overall product operation efficiency;

(4). Fault tolerance, that is, the ability to prevent users from operating errors, that is, to remind and remedy after errors, so as to effectively prevent the occurrence of some error messages and accidents.

2. The design principle of the membrane switch interface

Before discussing the design principles of the membrane switch interface, let us first understand the membrane switch design and manufacturing process.

The product structure engineer will set aside an area on the product for attaching the membrane switch as needed. Then the interface designer uses vector software (such as Adobe Illustrator, corelDraw) to design colors, graphics, and text on the computer according to the CAD drawings. Finally, the design drawings are handed over to the membrane switch manufacturer for production. In this entire design and production process, the interface design process, as long as the number and size of the buttons meet the requirements, the design scheme can meet the functional requirements. In order to achieve the above-mentioned design goals and requirements as much as possible, JRPanel summarizes the following design principles:

(1). Graphical principle

From the perspective of semiotics, different graphics means that different symbols represent different meanings. Therefore, people have always been accustomed to using simple, vivid, and general graphics to convey more complex information. For a long time, people have accumulated the cognition and performance of the meaning of some standard graphics. If it is used in the interface design of membrane switches, and the abstract text operation commands are changed to abstract graphic symbols, this can be greatly improved. The efficiency of user operation and the ease of learning of the product. In addition, better designed abstract graphics are also more interesting and beautiful, which will increase the user experience and further enhance the brand value of the product.

(2). Emphasize principles

The purpose of emphasis is to help users quickly find the information they need in a large number of information elements, so as to save time and improve efficiency.

In the process of membrane switch interface design, the same interface contains various information elements, which have different functional characteristics, and their importance and frequency of use are also different. For example, the power buttons of most electrical appliances are often designed to be more eye-catching, allowing users to find them very quickly, thereby improving operating efficiency. This is the result of using the principle of emphasis. After analysis, the principle is emphasized in the interface design and used in the following two situations:

High-frequency keys, that is, keys that are frequently used during operation, such as the power button and the start menu button. This type of button is the key to improving the efficiency of operation. Only when these buttons are clearly emphasized can you save time in complicated operations.

Special function keys, that is, keys that play a special role or handle emergency situations during use, such as emergency brake keys. Such a button requires the user to react and operate in a short time, so it must appear in an emphasized form to be able to find the fastest among many buttons and reduce the risk of some wrong operations.

Since the principle of emphasizing is of great significance in the interface design of membrane switches, how can we emphasize the design of various buttons? Through research, we found that changes in the shape, size, color and position of the buttons can all play a role in emphasizing. , Allowing people to notice the highlighted button at first glance. For example, in the rice cooker membrane switch interface, the start button is highlighted in red. This button is the most commonly used and most critical interface. This emphasis makes our operation more efficient. Of course, in this case, the designer not only used color emphasis but also comprehensively used position emphasis and size and shape emphasis.

3. Matching principle

The matching principle is what we usually call one-to-one correspondence, just like everyone in life has a name. Imagine if there are two people with the same name in the same unit or group, would there be confusion in matching, leading to some wrong behavior. The same is true in product design. Take a household gas cooktop as an example. Two burners correspond to two ignition switches. Normally, the ignition switch on the left controls the burner on the left and the one on the right controls the burner on the right. This is in line with people's operating and cognitive habits. But if the functions are interchanged, let the left control the right and the right control the left, which will inevitably lead to confusion in matching and lead to operation errors. In the design of membrane keys, this matching principle is specifically manifested in classifying and matching the functions of the keys. It can be summarized as the following points:

(1) A key corresponds to a function. When there are too many buttons, they can be adjusted appropriately according to the importance of the function;

(2) Arrange the buttons as far as possible according to the corresponding component position or according to a certain condition, so that the user can see at a glance when using;

(3) Clearly distribute each functional unit in the button interface, such as: display area, function selection area, input area, execution area, etc.

4. Conclusion

The design principles of the membrane switch interface summarized above are mainly from the perspective of ergonomics and design psychology, with the purpose of making it more in line with people's habits and improving the user's operating efficiency. In actual projects, designers need to consider the above principles comprehensively, rather than using them in isolation. In addition, these principles are not static. There are also some special cases where other design principles need to be adopted in the design process.

In general, the membrane switch interface is a part of product design, it does not exist independently. Therefore, in the process of product design, it must conform to the design ideas and concepts of the entire product, and the style and characteristics of the design should also conform to the characteristics of the overall product.

If you still have more question of membrane switch interface design, please feel free to contact JRPanel.  JRPanel is always willing to help you!


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