Software Interfaces & Usability


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The mental strain of air traffic controllers coordinating directions, altitudes and speed of aircraft to ensure air safety is enormous. The multitude of different technical display and interaction systems requires a high level of scattered attention, which makes it challenging to focus on the primary responsibility of air traffic control. Therefore, the ConceptDesk was developed as an integrated system of hardware and software, combining different technical systems into a homogeneous workplace concept. The hardware consists of two large-panel displays, rendering the complex contents in an intuitive and easy-to-understand way. The horizontal display is multi-touch enabled, while the vertical display is used as a visualisation unit for further relevant data. The entire system is operated via touch input and a hardware keyboard for numerical input. Developed in cooperation with DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH – responsible for air traffic control in Germany – it integrates all content that was previously presented on separate human-machine interfaces into a homogeneous visualisation with a consistent interaction methodology.

Statement by the Jury

The fresh and sophisticated concept of this interface for air traffic controllers, which bundles the different display systems into a single interactive panel, is outstanding. In terms of implementation, the ConceptDesk stands out through the vivid visualisation of contents, which can be scaled up and down, providing users with more security and a larger scope of interpretation as well as guaranteeing optimised control.

Red Dot: Best of the Best

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