UID GmbH / Jasmin Hellmann, Carina Völpel, Catharina Eichert / Optima / Dominik Roll, Enrico Neuppert, Jochen Albrecht, Tobias Bühler, Yana Pfalzgraf
Three questions to the project team
What was the particular challenge of the project from a UX point of view?
Milk powder, perfume, plasters, and immunodiagnostics - OPTIMA fills, seals, and packages a huge range of goods with a variety of packaging machines. The operation of the machines is correspondingly diverse and complex. Therefore, the key challenge was to design the machine operation as simple and attractive as possible - across different machine types and sectors. In our work, we had to create design and interaction patterns that work in different contexts to achieve a consistent "look and feel".
What was your personal highlight in the development process? Was there an aha!-moment, was there a low point?
A highlight for the whole project team was the positive user feedback during iterative testing. This allowed us to quickly arrive at an UI which has been adapted to real user needs. We also remember one of the first customer comments during the launch very positively ("quantum leap"). It is very pleasing that the OPTIMA project team now puts on "the UX glasses" and has internalised the user-centered approach. One of the biggest challenges was working under the restrictions of a pandemic, e.g. testing remotely and designing a remote test setting. Always exciting was the struggle to find technological solutions for the best possible UX. All our efforts were required to not settle for the easiest to implement, but most user-friendly solution.
Where do you see yourself and the project in the next five years?
OPTIMA is able to take the experience of the project into new HMI (Human Machine Interface) projects. The team not only created an internal benchmark for all other UIs from OPTIMA, but also for other HMIs in the packaging industry. In five years, OPTIMA HMIs will stand for simple, fast and safe machine operations. User-centricity will not only be visible "on the surface": The project shapes and changes the mindset and collaboration within the organization towards a more user-centered approach. The qualification of machine operators will further decrease. The new HMI is our way to counter low qualification with simple and easy to understand machine operation. As designers, we were able to increase our knowledge of design systems for industry applications.