BMLinkS Common UI Activities
Even though users operate for the same function, they are
often faced with differences in operations, depending on the
manufacturer of the device used. This confuses the users and
results in errors. Activities have been started to implement
the "Common UI" concept, according to which users follow the
same operation flow from operation panel of any manufacturer
in using BMLinkS functions. The purpose of these activities
is to enable common BMLinkS operation flow for devices and
software combined for all BMLinkS functions. This will give
users peace of mind so that they can use the BMLinkS
- Since July, 2005, 5 participants from 4 companies
(later increased to 6 participants from 5 companies)
have joined and started the UI Working Group to
standardize the BMLinkS Storage Service.
- On May 23, 2006, a press and PR presentation
was organized and demo devices were shown to
demonstrate how common UI operations can be made
To make the common UI operations available on devices
from many manufacturers, the following activities have
been organized. UI Working Group aim to have output from
these activities turned into a UI guideline for release to
- Common operation rules
rules in operation flow and button layout to enable
- Deliberation of terms
Standardize names of
functions and terms for operations so that users can
operate any device with ease without any confusion.
- Icons and BMLinkS logo mark
icons for display on screen, and develop rules in using
BMLinkS logo mark.
- Evaluation of usability (planned)
out usability test using actual users, to see whether
contents defined by the guideline are easy to use.
2-3 Result of
Questionnaire Survey on Usability
Using the demo devices from the five companies developed
for the press and PR presentation in May, 2006, a questionnaire survey was conducted to find out
the effectiveness of the common UI.
Policy of the following common UI was implemented on the
demo device and then its effectiveness was evaluated.
- To align the top menu screen on each manufacturer's
equipment, a BMLinkS dedicated screen was set up.
- Terms and icons were standardized.
- Major operation flow (setup flow) on the touch panel
■ Common policy of UI implemented on demo device
¤Alignment in entry method
¤Alignment in menu screen
¤Alignment in operation flow
Use hardware key or set up BMLinkS dedicated
button on menu screen.
Align sort order of menu screen items,
terms, and icons.
Align layout and operation flow such as
method to select storage destination
is only an example.
■ Result of questionnaire survey
comparison is made between operation of the BMLinkS function
with the above policy implemented and operation of the
functions to store in Windows folder (SMB storage) provided
by each company where the operations are not standardized.
In using the UI of BMLinkS functions, about 76% of the
respondents could operate either feeling slightly confused
or without feeling confused at all. However, in using the
SMB function, only 34% reported the same result. This
indicates that BMLinkS operation with common UI can be
performed without confusion.
questionnaire survey was conducted using subjects related to
the participating companies; it was not a strict usability
test employing general users.
UI operation of BMLinkS
function with common UI
UI operation of SMB storage
function of each
■Able to operate without feeling
slightly confused, but able to operate
confused, but somehow able to operate
understand operation, and take more than one
minute to perform setting
3. Output (currently released results)
Data that has been released to the public up to now
contains the following terms and icons. For the terms, only
the Japanese terms have been finalized; the English terms
are still being deliberated.
(Tentative translation from the terms in
||(Print from Storage)
||(Select a storage destination)
(Select a copy destination)
(Select a file)
- three common operations
4. Future Plan
In terms of future activities, they will be reviewed as
part of the activities in Phase 5, and the following
activities are planned to continue.
- Decide English terms for function names.
- Examine guideline with consideration of the
operation flow and button layout regulations.
- Check ease of operation using usability test.
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