Re: Interesting visuals on control panel

Subject: Re: Interesting visuals on control panel
From: Ken Poshedly <poshedly -at- bellsouth -dot- net>
To: Brian -dot- Henderson -at- mitchell1 -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2010 09:03:36 -0800 (PST)

Icon-based controls are where it is and it ain't gonna change -- especially when
producing goods for multilingual markets.

My company is a China-based manufacturer or heavy construction equipment such as
crawler cranes, rough terrain cranes, concrete pump trucks, motor
scraper/graders, hydraulic excavators and much, much more. While it actually
sells somewhere near 5,000 excavators alone within China in a financial quarter
(due to its burgeoning economy), it also sells and delivers that product and
many others as well around the rest of the world (minus Antarctica, as pointed
out elsewhere).

The control panels are icon-based with apparently universal symbols because that
is what works; no more worrying about correctly translated words for functions
(boy-oh-boy, you wouldn't believe some of the English-language stuff from the
home office we get here at our U.S. offices in metro Atlanta).

So the hare and turtle are commonly used in our machines, as are little pictures
representing other functions.


For instance, a simplified image of a steel beam with a vertical post dropping
down at one end but with the horizontal beam drawn with thicker lines designates
the 3-position rocker switch for extending, stopping or retracting the
outriggers (on rough terrain cranes and concrete pump trucks). The same icon but
with the vertical post in thicker lines designates the 3-position rocker switch
for extending, stopping or retracting the outrigger jacks. And so on and so on.

And if you are at all familiar with the industry in which you work, these icons
and their functions are obvious, so any personal worries about potential
confusion are unfounded. From my way of thinking, anybody able to get hired and
who then climbs into the cab of a rough terrain crane and asks aloud what "that
there switch is for" would probably be walked off the construction site.
Permanently.

-- Kenpo
(Writing about huge Tonka toys for "big" boys)




________________________________
From: "Brian -dot- Henderson -at- mitchell1 -dot- com" <Brian -dot- Henderson -at- mitchell1 -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Sent: Wed, November 17, 2010 10:58:05 AM
Subject: RE: Interesting visuals on control panel

My take on this technique is to wonder whether these animals exist in
all potential markets. It doesn't seem universal enough, for my taste.

-BH

-----Original Message-----From: Jan Axelson

Yesterday I happened to see the control panel on a cherry
picker/aerial lift. The speed control had no text. Instead there were
two images - a hare at the top and a tortoise at the bottom. In
between was a bar that tapered from top to bottom.

Since the tortoise in the fable wins the race, maybe the images send
a subtle message to get going but take it slow?

Jan

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References:
RE: Interesting visuals on control panel: From: Brian.Henderson

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