Digital makeover enhances new design, functionality
GE Healthcare’s new general imaging ultrasound machine features cutting-edge technology.
The fully digital system integrates artificial intelligence, cloud connectivity, and advanced algorithms to acquire and reconstruct data faster than ever before.
One of the objectives of the team developing the LOGIQ™ E10 was to have a new product design compliment the cutting-edge technology on the inside. GE Healthcare partnered with Design Concepts to design a touch panel user interface (UI) to complement the LOGIQ E10’s new aesthetic. Working in parallel with GE Healthcare’s industrial designers, who were creating the new physical design for the machine, we explored multiple digital design approaches and then refined the chosen concept.
The LOGIQ E10’s design has several functional improvements, including a simplified control panel, that was made possible in part by relocating some less-used physical controls to the touch panel. To improve cleanability, physical sliders used to control time gain compensation (TGC) settings were removed from the control panel and the TGC function was moved to the touch panel. We designed the interface for this new interaction, enabling the sonographer to literally draw a curve on the touch panel that represents the signal intensity along the depth of the image.
While it has advantages, going to a digital TGC was a big transition for clinicians, but the combination of the performance, ease of use, and intuitive design have all helped from an acceptance standpoint, according to the GE Healthcare team.
Sonographers do more than capture ultrasound images. They need to label them clearly, so physicians know exactly what they’re looking at. Annotating images is a time-consuming but vital part of performing an ultrasound exam. We designed color-coded annotation groupings for the commenting libraries, which are available on the touch panel, to help save keystrokes and aid in organization. To address the needs of users who are color blind, we designed additional indicators to differentiate the red and green groupings.
Throughout the project, a central challenge was to create an updated visual design that improved the user experience without changing the UI so dramatically that users would have difficulty adapting to it. To that end, we designed a family of icons for the system’s probes and rotary control functions that are consistent with the modern styling of the new touch panel UI but familiar in meaning.
As often happens when you redesign one element of a product, you discover that other areas need work as well. The LOGIQ E10’s primary display contains a heads up (HUD) representation of the lower control panel’s trackball and its surrounding functions. At GE Healthcare’s request, our designers extended the visual language of the touch panel to images and icons for the various trackball HUD layers, indicators, and other primary display UI elements. In total, we designed approximately 1,000 images and icons to update the UI of the touch panel and primary display.
Throughout the project, we also worked closely with GE Healthcare’s software engineers to assess technical feasibility, communicate the resulting design intent, and produce the visual assets required to implement the new user interfaces.
The user feedback on the physical and digital redesign has been tremendously positive. The LOGIQ E10 truly enables confident diagnosis with comprehensive tools and concise workflow with a modern aesthetic that reflects the GE Healthcare brand.
GE, the GE Monogram, imagination at work, and LOGIQ are trademarks of General Electric Company.
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