4.4.2.2 Objects, Device Status and Colors

In the design of the GUI the software approach has been to be as flexible as possible. For example, the objects and their status displayed on the map can be any bitmap, or any size and color. Thus a camera can be drawn as a camera (or any bitmap desired). However, in order to show the status of a camera (which can be OK, Hardware failure, communication failure or offline) a series of bitmaps are needed. During the prototype development many options were tried, included in the prototype are the designs considered best at the time of delivery. MDSHA in conjunction with the CSC/PBFI Team will have ample opportunity to investigate a multitude of options for icons.

As part of the prototype design for each of the displayed devices the project team adopted a color coding scheme that went across all devices and all graphic objects. The scheme included in the prototype is:

The approach here is to minimize the number of different icons and to recognize color as a coding technique (Shneiderman pp. 210 and 326). By altering only the color the display indicates the change in status without confusing the eye with a shape change. By using the same set of colors on the text in the banner the eye acknowledges the status of the device and sees a coordinated picture.