GEN2i data recorder wins Nielsen Norman Group award for outstanding usability

US consultancy institute Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g) presented the GEN2i data recorder with an award for its outstanding usability - as the first and only measuring instrument ever. The jurors particularly appreciated the clear menu navigation and the focus on essential functions.

Modern measuring instruments acquire ever more and ever more precise data. As a result, there is a multitude of features and functions the users of measuring instruments need to master. The consequence: Controlling the instrument may become so complex that incorrect settings result in false readings.

Number of features deliberately limited

Test and measurement expert HBM has broken new ground with the development of its GEN2i data recorder. "We have deliberately limited the number of on-screen functions and features in the development of the GEN2i data recorder," explains Cees de Vries, HBM Software Usability Manager.

This approach has now been appreciated by US consultancy institute Nielsen Norman Group which has included the GEN2i data recorder in its "Usability Showcase 2012". "GEN2i developers have ensured that all essential functions are accessible via a screen – using the available screen area in a highly efficient way,“ has been the reasoning. Special mention should be made of the fact that all functions can be accessed through the touch-screen display with one hand and one click - a design that very much accommodates the user's situation during measurement."

Usability as a form of consistent user focus

The award shows that usability is more than just "nice design". Usability comprises the entire conceptualization and development of an instrument from the user's point of view. Thus, a user-friendly instrument becomes an economic factor, because clear user navigation helps to avoid operating errors and misinterpretations. This is of crucial importance, particularly with tests and measurements involving high set-up costs.

GEN2i from HBM is a portable data recorder for a wide range of applications. With up to 64 input channels, GEN2i allows data acquisition directly to the hard disk; however, it can also be used as a transient recorder. The instrument can be fully controlled via the convenient touch screen.

2012 Application Design Contest WINNER

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