UUX evaluation of a digitally advanced human–machine interface for excavators

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


With the evaluation of a next-generation human–machine interface (HMI) concept for excavators, this study aims to discuss the HMI quality measurement based on usability and user experience (UUX) metrics. Regarding the digital transformation of construction sites, future work environments will have to be capable of presenting various complex visual data and enabling efficient and safe interactivity while working. The evaluated HMI focused on introducing a touch display-based interface, providing advanced operation functions and different interaction modalities. The assessment of UUX should show whether the novel HMI can be utilised to perform typical tasks (usability) and how it is accepted and assessed in terms of non-instrumental qualities (user experience, UX). Using the collected data, this article also aims to contribute to the general discussion about the role of UX beyond usability in industrial applications and deepen the understanding of non-instrumental qualities when it comes to user-oriented process and machine design. The exploratory study examines insights into the application of elaborated UUX measuring tools like the User Experience Questionnaire (UEQ) on the interaction with industrial goods accompanied by their rating with other tools, namely System Usability Scale (SUS), Intuitive Interaction Questionnaire (INTUI) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Task Load Index (NASA-TLX). Four goals are pursued in this study. The first goal is to compare in-depth two different ways of interaction with the novel HMI—namely one by a control pad on the right joystick and one by touch. Therefore, a sample of 17 subjects in total was split into two groups and differences in UUX measures were tested. Secondly, the performances of both groups were tested over the course of trials to investigate possible differences in detail. The third goal is to interpret measures of usability and user experience against existing benchmark values. Fourth and finally, we use the data gathered to analyse correlations between measures of UUX. The results of our study show that the different ways of interaction did not impact any of the measures taken. In terms of detailed performance analysis, both groups yielded differences in terms of time per action, but not between the groups. The comparison of UUX measures with benchmark values yielded mixed results. The UUX measures show some relevant significant correlations. The participants mostly reported enjoying the use of the HMI concept, but several practical issues (e.g., efficiency) still need to be overcome. Once again, the study confirms the urge of user inclusion in product development. Especially in the course of digitalisation, as big scale advancements of systems and user interfaces bring uncertainty for many manufacturers regarding whether or how a feature should be integrated.


Original languageEnglish
Article number57
Number of pages19
JournalMultimodal Technologies and Interaction
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020

External IDs

Scopus 85089851803
ORCID /0000-0002-3402-6714/work/141543246
ORCID /0000-0003-0937-1927/work/142249155
ORCID /0000-0003-2862-9196/work/142254852