QSC Audio has been a global leader in professional audio systems for a long time. They've been designing ground shaking amplifiers, deffining loudspeakers and sophisticated digital mixers for more than four decades. So when they came to Zuno for help with one of their latest products we were ready to rock-n-roll.
We were brought on to design the user interface for QSC's newest line of power amplifiers, the PLD and CXD series. The unique thing about this project, besides being UI for hardware, was that it was the first interface of its kind in the industry. Traditionally amplifiers have single line digital displays resembling an alarm clock more than a smartphone display.
Four buttons & a knob
Creating an intutive navigation paradigm that will work throughout an entire user experience is tough. Even more so when you only have four physical buttons and a rotary knob. This made the discovery and structure phases that much more important.
We took a rapid prototype approach in order to get user feedback as early as possible in the process. We built interactive wireframes that allowed the client and test users to simulate the physical act of navigation as virtually as possible.
Small screen. Big challenges.
Such a small screen, the context of how it would be viewed in an amplifier rack and the massive amount of functionality poised some difficult design challenges.
Since there wasn't room for tooltips or expanded help we used visual cues to direct users through each process. Navigation elements were specifically styled to inform users which way menus moved as well as where they were in the current process.