The many faces of interfaces

March 15, 2024
Control’s monthly resources guide

ASM principles still apply

The website maintained by the Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) Consortium includes overviews and its guidelines on alarm management, HMI design, procedural practices, change management in HMI development and operations practices, as well as sections on control room design and others. The overviews and guidelines are here.

ASM Consortium /

4 videos with philosophy

This four-part video series starts with the 10-minute, “What is high-performance HMI?,” and continues with videos on design basics, developing an HMI philosophy, and detailed design principles.

There’s also an online article version here.

RealParS /

Interview and storyboard

This feature article, “How to design effective HMIs” by Bridget Fitzpatrick, covers the ANSI/ISA-101.01 standard, “Human machine interfaces (HMI) for process automation systems,” shows how to use questionnaires and interviews with operators to learn what HMI capabilities they require before building them. It also shows how to use storyboarding workshops and advanced methods to further refine HMIs.

Control /

Professional design

This online article, “Design like a pro, part 2: developing dynamic HMI/SCADA projects with speed and precision,” covers the processes for set up, layout, templates, development, startup and others. There’s also a 49-minute video/webinar version here.

Inductive Automation /

Higher-level performance

This 14-minute video, “Better SCADA design tips: high-performance HMI,” covers analog values, color palette, animation, trends and radar charts.

SCADA Torch /

Design tips, best practices

This online article has two versions, “Design tips to create a more effective HMI” by Chip McDaniel and “HMI best practices for an effective HMI every time.” The first is longer and covers storyboarding, operator interviews, judicious use of color, situational awareness, limiting required access clicks, providing feedback, avoiding pop-ups, alarm and event logging, password protection, and creating a style guide. The second version is shorter, but has links to other HMI articles.

ISA and AutomationDirect /;

History, current affairs and layouts

This online article, “Leading the way in HMI design 4.0” by Manabu Kawata, covers the history of HMIs, the current state of screen design, layout options and screen structures. It also links to a six-minute video about empowering workforces with HMI-centric concepts.

Pro-Face by Schneider Electric /

Screens, buttons and navigation

This online article, “HMI design—best practices for effective HMI screens” by Vladimir Romanov, shows how to select screen sizes and colors, pushbuttons vs. touchscreens, user inputs, local vs. distributed data processing, navigation issues and design tasks.

solis PlC /

System integrator views

This online article, “Integrator experts provide visualization options for clients” by Joshua Choe, SCADA engineering manager at system integrator Tesco Controls, shows how industrial HMI/SCADA design practices are transitioning from traditional graphics to situational awareness principles, which systems integrators can efficiently tailor and standardize to best meet the individual needs of their clients. It was published in Processing magazine, but it’s accessible online.

Tesco Controls /

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