Touch gestures for process graphics
Abstract: The goal of this thesis was to explore and find ways to implement touch gestures in the context of process automation, with the limitation to one specific use case found suitable for touch interaction for ABB’s distributed control system called System 800xA. The typical way to handle the data in System 800xA today is to show and control it through the so called process graphics. It is possible to do this on a touch device today, but the current graphical user interface focus on mouse and keyboard interaction. Because of this some of the common design elements and interaction cues that are in use right now are less suitable when running the system on a touch device. Important characteristics for the process graphics to have for an efficient and delightful user experience when interacting with the system on a touch device were therefore also investigated. To understand if, and if so when and how, an industrial process control system could benefit from touch interaction a PACT analysis was done as a first step. This PACT analysis was then used as a basis for how 15 use cases and their suitability for touch were evaluated. A combination of two out of these 15 use cases were found to be a suitable aim for a prototype that was created. These two use cases involved navigation and controlling of the system and were found suitable for several reasons, including the fact that they are common use cases for when touch interaction with the system is used today. Therefor these two use cases in combination was chosen as the target use case. To find which gestures that were suitable for this use case, an exploratory test was performed where the participants were allowed to show what gestures they perceived as suitable for different tasks that the use case could involve. The findings from these user tests were that the gestures should be kept simple, often only require one hand and one finger usage. Based on these findings, a high-fidelity prototype was implemented on a tablet called Surface Pro. As a way to evaluate the implementation of the high-fidelity prototype an assessment test was conducted. The results from the assessment test indicates that while it is important to adjust the system for touch interaction, by for example use elements in suitable sizes and provide functions adapted for touch interaction, it is also important to replicate the current system where it is possible.
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