Advanced User Experience Techniques are Changing How Controlled Environments are Monitored

In mid-2016, Vaisala announced the newly designed interface of their environmental monitoring system viewLinc, also endowed with new wireless technology that allows data loggers to transmit for over 100m, reliably and securely.

Long preferred by pharmaceutical and highly precise manufacturing environments such as aerospace, Vaisala’s viewLinc monitoring system provides alarming, real-time and historical trends, and customizable reporting for quality and compliance requirements. The system integrates a wide selection of data loggers, transmitters and connectivity options to monitor temperature, relative humidity, dew point temperature, CO2, differential pressure, door switches, and more.

After more than a decade of use in critical and pharmaceutical environments, the viewLinc system has now been redesigned to create an incredibly pleasing user experience. The new system devices install quickly and easily, with little IT support needed, and integrate cutting-edge wireless technologies that can send data with wired-equivalent integrity for over 100m.

Throughout 2015 and 2016, Vaisala user experience designer Heta Korvenranta, worked with her team to simplify and improve the interface of viewlinc. Korvenranta said: "We interviewed our customers to see which features of the software are important, and how we could improve them. The software now has a fresh new look, and we’ve done a lot of usability testing to ensure the software is easy-to-use.

"Getting started with a new software can be easy. We created tours that guide new users in setting up and using the system."

This latest version of viewLinc knows whether a user is new to the system or not, and based on that information, shows appropriate on-screen guidance prompts. The prompts are called ‘tours’ because they give quick, brief instructions that allow users to perform functions immediately, as they learn.

One of the things Vaisala Usability experts learned from interviewing viewLinc users was that some staff only go into the main software occasionally. In some cases they manage most of their viewLinc communication by mobile phone. In other cases they are a supervisor or manager and need not use the software often. These users still needed to go into the viewLinc software on a PC occasionally, but did not want to have to re-learn the software each time, especially if they only log in once or twice a year.

The interface tours solve this problem by ensuring that on-screen directions get you started with basic tasks. Once a user has seen the tours describing the basic functions, they don’t auto-load again, but remain available on-demand.

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