Smiths Detection were recently awarded a prestigious Red Dot award for the intuitive design of the graphical user interface (GUI) of our computed tomography (CT) checkpoint scanner HI-SCAN 6040 CTiX.
Once a year the international Red Dot design competition awards excellence in the areas of product design, communication design, and design concepts.
CT systems have been introduced to checkpoint security to combat ever evolving threats and comply with increasing regulatory requirements. At the same time, they help airports to improve the efficiency and passenger experience of screening processes by allowing laptops and liquids to be left in bags during scanning.
CT scanners produce high-resolution 3D images which allow a very detailed analysis of a bags content – allowing security operators to digitally unpack a bag. A step change for image analysts who are currently used to analyzing 2D X-ray images from conventional X-ray screening systems.
Despite these advantages, the new systems could have led to a longer evaluation process simply due to more information to assess. To avoid this the new HI-SCAN 6040 CTiX interface was developed in close cooperation with end-users alongside the specialized user experience design agency Custom Interactions following an iterative data-driven approach.
To get the best understanding of the tasks and requirements of image analysts, extensive user interviews and on-site observations of their workflows were conducted before the start of the project. Thereafter, every new design was reviewed and tested by screeners and other experts using prototypes to achieve the best results. This way fact-driven decisions on the optimal layout and functionalities could be made quickly, always ensuring that the GUI is designed to support the operators in performing their tasks.
The result of this process is a visually tidy and easy to navigate final design. All control elements are located at the bottom of the screen to avoid long click paths. Additional information is only displayed on request and can be made visible at the top of the screen. The different display variants support the user in clearly identifying prohibited items and marking them for analysts at the recheck station.
Despite significant advances in technology, the human element remains a critical factor in checkpoint security and should not be overlooked. Image analysis time has a major influence on throughput and operational efficiency at security checkpoints. In order to ensure a smooth transition from 2D to 3D images and enable operators to make accurate and fast decisions, it was therefore crucial to design an intuitive GUI tailored to the specific tasks of analysts at the checkpoint. Only then can the benefits of CT scanners be fully realized.
It is all thanks to the extensive research, design and collaboration that we have been able to develop an intuitive user interface, which has seen us being awarded the prestigious Red Dot award.