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What to Look for When Choosing an Embedded GUI Solution

Graphical user interfaces (GUI) can be found in products since the 1970s. Still, with the increased demand for touchscreens like experiences on wearables, home appliances, smart devices, and more, the industry is seeing more progress than ever. Upon closer look, you can see that the advanced GUI solutions and embedded software applications played a critical role in bringing the embedded GUI field to today.

Thanks to refined and sophisticated embedded solutions, developers can bring the best GUIs and user experience (UX) to the table. Still, choosing the best embedded GUI solution for your program is not an easy task.

Choosing a great embedded GUI solution

You need the best you can get to have the most elegant design using a simplified GUI development process that aligns designers and developers without too much trouble. You will need to make sure the graphics, animations, and design components lead the industry and leave your customers satisfied with the UX. So, how do you do this? It’s simple – by choosing a great embedded GUI solution! Considering the ever-evolving industry, you will need to consider much, but here is a simple guide to let you know what you should look for.

Simplified collaborations and import

Any GUI solution will do little for your project if your designers and developers are not coordinated. Nothing can be worse than sacrificing an image or animation due to memory budgets and seeing your design vision die before your eyes. So, what you need is an embedded GUI solution that allows for a simultaneous workflow between UX design and embedded software to provide a channel for seamless changes and earlier identification of any issues.

Consequently, you can easily overcome challenges like multiple design changes, defects found through UX prototyping, or updates to hardware platforms where your original design may not run smoothly. Your designers and developers need not fret about working in tools outside their expertise with an integrated workflow.

These solutions integrate well with Photoshop, Illustrator, or Sketch and can import design assets without a glitch. So, you get to bring the GUI experience as envisioned by your designers to the reality of embedded systems development.

On the other hand, solutions not providing a parallel workflow tend to expose their developers to the hard side of design iterations. They have to spend more effort getting design components to work, essentially losing the essence of the original design, and repeat backend integration effort each time the design changes.

GUI application and hardware integration

Continuing the thought of integrating your design to other integral parts of your GUI application, it is critical to be aware of how your design scales on different hardware and operating systems. If your embedded GUI solution isn’t very portable to different hardware, you will probably be left with issues down the line when it comes time to evolve the product or grow the model line.

Hence, look for an embedded solution that aims for design flexibility and scales your design up or down when deployed on different hardware. A great embedded GUI solution will be the one that supports all microcontrollers (MCU) and microprocessors (MPU) so that you can create the initial application without worries and choose your hardware later in the development process. This gives you greater liberty to design your GUI as you wish and then port it to the right hardware as you get it.

Ease of adding image components

A big reason why people love certain embedded GUI designs over others is due to the choice of images for menus, icons, and other screen elements. But it isn’t just the choice of image that wins users over; it’s also how they behave and perform.

A sequence of images that flows smoothly across the screen is much more effective than one that stutters or renders incompletely. The job of the embedded developer is to make these images perform as the UX design intended; however, this can be very difficult to do when the design elements are separated from the code.

When you find the right embedded GUI solution, your developer can import or add animations and other image components from design tools without having to recreate them manually using code. These tools allow developers to drag and drop GUI elements anywhere on the screen space, see how they work about other elements, and manipulate animations through a  timeline much like the best video editing applications. In short, your developer gets to work on the backend integration work without having to put up with in-depth GUI design coding.

Cost-effectiveness

Now, this must go without saying. Any embedded GUI solution can be made great if it is cost-effective, does what it is supposed to do, and is easy to use. So with a great solution, a designer can create the UX design without facing any runtime code issues. The developer does not have to worry about GUI elements, colors, sizing, etc. This reduces the hassle of the work and resources you will need to put behind it. This means you can reduce the tradeoffs that normally come from the barriers between design,  code development, and execution.

Ease of use

Above all else, the best embedded GUI solutions must be easy to understand and use, simplifying both design and development. Having the ability to rapidly import design files, adjust them based on hardware specifics, and test them on your desktop reduces your time to market. It minimizes the frustrations common between designers and developers.

The modern-day demand for highly interactive GUIs from home appliances to medical equipment and smart wearables has brought a surge of GUI solutions. Now, you can find the best embedded GUI solution with ease and create the experience you always wanted!

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