Matrix

 

Matrix Switching Software, FPC 6000


Audience
This product is specific to experienced A/V System Design Engineers and Integrators. This was challenging in terms of aligning the terminology and behaviors to extremely advanced users in the industry. . 

Context
The FPC (Front Panel Control) software is a control product which sits directly on a matrix switching device. By moving controls from hardware to software, the user is able to create, view and filter ties between thousands of inputs and outputs without the tedious strain of finding and selecting items in a physical space. 

 Previous model of the software prior to redevelopment. 

Previous model of the software prior to redevelopment. 

Goals

  • Create a matrix switching experience similar to a hardware matrix switcher, on a touch panel device
  • Cater to the language, knowledge, and expectations of advanced A/V System Designers
  • Allow users to create, remove, mute and unmute AV, Video and Audio ties. Users must also be able to view more information about each input and output and save and recall preset settings. 
  • Provide an updated and brand consistent visual appearance.  

An early prototype used  in the first usability test.

An iteration on the initial concept, which would later be refined and used in production.

Process

After reviewing existing software and new requirements we began with several rounds of concept and wireframe testing with users before development to ensure concepts aligned with audience mental models.  Testing results and observations from watching users interact with hardware matrix devices informed the higher fidelity designs and prototypes. We performed a final usability test prior to launch to determine any last minute changes and to understand the audience impressions of the high fidelity appearance.  

Activities

  • Wireframing and Prototyping
  • Ethnographic observation
  • Iterative usability testing
 
 Creating an A/V Tie between input 3 and output 4.

Creating an A/V Tie between input 3 and output 4.

Results

This product is approved for launch in Q2 of 2018, and will eventually be used by many of Extron's matrix switching products.  In addition to the current feature set, we recommended the software support multiple views including grid view, list view and hybrid as well as support gestures such as long press or double tap to appeal to serve as accelerators for advanced users.