The display is the first thing that the system user sees and the last thing that the system designer thinks about. A sweeping generalisation but so often true. However choosing your display in advance during the design process can provide you with much more flexibility. Here are the factors you should take into account.
The first thing the user looks at when they start up the system is the screen, and their perception of the system will continue to be influenced by the information it provides and how it is presented. Consider, no matter how quickly data is processed internally within a system, the user won’t know until the result is presented on screen.
Yet system designers typically choose the display late in the design process. Their focus is often on the choice of processor, operating system and the writing of the software. Thinking about how the system is going to be presented to its user at the start allows much more flexibility. So often, we see designs which demand a screen resolution not supported by the chosen processor. We also come across instances where the processor will provide a higher resolution than is available in the chosen screen size.
The resolution and size of the display depends on the character of the information to be presented. Is it purely text, icons or graphical? Will it include video? Is there to be a touch interface, and if so, how many options is the user to be offered at any one time, and how much information needs to be presented to help them make their choice.
It’s extremely hard to visualise screen appearance in the abstract – the best way is to obtain samples of the target displays and load up the interface. Platforms like our DX embedded displays offer pre-integrated motherboards and displays which are shipped working with popular operating systems and processors. Loading your application onto these platforms is quick and easy and you can easily make changes and even try different screen sizes to make an informed decision.
As per our previous blog on display size, don’t be afraid to consider a semi or full custom display. Quite often, it can be a very economical solution, as you are able to remove unwanted elements you don’t need to create a screen that delivers exactly what your application requires – no more and no less. For example, you might find that you can specify a screen offering the resolution you require at the size that you need – and eliminate any cost premium over a catalogue display by removing unwanted features.
Contact us for more advice and tips to help you choosing the right display for your system design.
In our next post, we will look specifically at the choice of screen refresh rate.