Types of layouts by purpose

In quite many cases it is optimal to use several displays to optimize the workflow of a single operator. In this publication we will review typical layouts depending on the purpose.

Shared videowall

Videowalls are the grid of large-scale displays, that are typically used in control room for shared information output, that is used by multiple users simultaneously.

In most cases the videowall combines the following purposes:

  • Indication of the current state of the automated system. It can be a mnemonic scheme of industrial facility or infrastructure, the map with assets on it (like fleet locations), major KPIs of business with some extras.
  • Information about current issues and alerts.
  • Area for dynamic or contextual visualizations, that focuses on some detailed information, that is used, for instance, during crisis response scenario.
  • Secondary information, like the current date and time.

Depending on the current mode of the system, the overall layout can be changed by special control workstation.

Cases for single workstations

Multiple displays can be used at workstations that are used by a single user/operator.

Situational + operational information displays

In this case, displays are organized in a manner that is similar to videowall cases.

Some displays are used for general situation output, and their content is rarely modified by the operator. For instance, it can be a mnemonic scheme or map with controlled airspace.

Other displays are used for dynamic content — for data input, analysis, or output of detailed information about entity, that was selected on static display.

This is typical layout for ATC, VTS and SCADA systems.

Canvas + Properties

For instrumental systems, like CAD, IDE, music composing or graphic design workstations, all displays are dynamical and are used for operational purposes.

The primary display contains the canvas area, that represents the full project details, while secondary displays are used for specific manipulations of project properties and subentities.

For instance, on the left display, the designer may output a full-scale photo that is currently processed, while on the right display all toolbars and palettes are placed to avoid unnecessary clutter.

Operational touch-screens

In some cases of real-time systems, touch screens as operational displays are used. This is typical for workstations that handle medical devices, unmanned drones, vessel simulators, etc. — touch screens are used to replace more expensive hardware control panels. Also, they may output some secondary parameters, compared to primary situational displays.

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