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Intuitive interface results in design award for Simrad

The Norwegian Design Council has presented Simrad with a prestigious Design Award for the new interface of its fishery research multibeam echosounder, the ME70. The interface has already been put to use in Simrad's latest products for fishery research applications and is set to become the standard platform across all of Simrad's future echosounder and sonar products.

From the prize awars ceremony (from left): Christine Koht, Torfinn Johansen (Simrad) and Geir Eide (Formed Industridesign).

Simrad's Kjell Gjestad led a team of in-house engineers and designers from Norwegian design firm Formel Industrial Design. The company committed an extensive development phase to the project, to ensure that the new interface was as user friendly as possible. "It is very important to us that it is easily accessible, says Kjell Gjestad, Simrad. "We wanted a professional, suitable and functional user interface to emphasize the quality that is the backbone of all our products, but more importantly to make sure that users can gain optimum performance from the equipment when it is in everyday use. We have achieved this aim and receiving this award is a reflection of the hard work of everyone involved."

The notification from the Norwegian Design Council's judging panel points out that the new user interface is based on a considerable amount of technological innovation as well a novel approach to many of the challenges. Further it states that the design is intuitive, easy to use, and flexible. Five large buttons control the main functions of the ME70 and the menu system is logical and intuitive. It is possible to display five different screen images simultaneously, which the user can select individually with ease. The overall expression and terminology is clear and well suited for the target users and the colours, symbols and light settings are well adapted to changes in the ambient conditions.