User Interface (UI) engineering is a quickly-evolving field of study, as technology advances and innovation affects nearly every aspect of the industry. Additionally, UI engineers are becoming more involved in user experience, design, and the psychology associated with these related fields. As users expect more ease of use out of products, UI engineers need to meet user demands.
Because of the demands put on UI engineering today, various organizations, industry leaders, and experts have developed resources appropriate for learning UI engineering online. We have searched for articles, papers, blogs, eBooks, guides, online courses, forums, videos, webinars, and more to help you in your quest to learn more about UI engineering online. Whether you are a beginner just delving into the profession or a UI engineer looking to stay up-to-date with the latest advances in your field, these resources are sure to provide you with useful information and expertise.
While our top 32 resources are listed in no particular order, they are organized into various categories to make it easier to search them for just the right information.
Table of Contents:
- Articles, Magazines, and Papers
- Online Courses and Lecture Notes
- Slideshows, Videos, Webcasts, and Webinars
This guide was developed by Pannam Membrane Switch Technologies
Written by Jeanine Katzel, the article examines how human-machine interface (HMI) has evolved from push buttons to lights and switches to hardwired devices and electronic panels and now HMI systems that interconnect millions of pieces of data. Exploring this evolution is an important step in learning UI engineering, as HMIs and their design change the workforce and become a model for UI engineering innovation.
- Evolving terminology
- Cultural challenges
- Turn of the 21st century
- Models for future systems
- Enterprise visualization
In this article, Adrian Jones explains how five principles of user-experience design and user-interface design apply to machines and electronics. With an eye to the importance of the user, Jones reminds us that not all user interfaces are easy to use and urges UI engineers to keep the user at the center of their designs.
- Understand users and support their goals
- Make interfaces easy to learn and enjoyable to use
- Remain consistent
- Form a dialog with users
- Strive to be problem free
Jun Su Ha highlights the human factors that act as guidelines and standards for UI engineers when designing HMIs in this study. The balancing principle that emerges is that all HMI elements should be designed according to their importance. The conclusions and suggestions for further studies are valuable for individuals interested in learning UI engineering online.
- Human factors
- Main control room HMIs
- Balancing principles
- Design and importance attributes in HMI design
- Design preference to importance ratio
- Balancing index
There are more than 1,000 articles related to user interface engineering available from Electrical Construction & Maintenance, covering topics from industry standards to testing and everything in between. With such a broad set of resources available, Electrical Construction & Maintenance is an invaluable resource for those who want to learn UI engineering online.
- Material choices
- Industry standards
- Engineering trends
“A free community resource exploring all facets of experience design,” UX Magazine features content with current information from professionals in all areas of user experience who work closely with the editors to ensure credible articles are provided on a weekly basis. With a focus on how user experience fits into technology, design thinking, and project planning, UX Magazine’s articles are informative pieces for anyone interested in learning UI engineering online.
Three articles we like from UX Magazine:
- From Industrial Design to user Experience: The heritage and evolving role of experience-driven design
- The UX Explorers at Ford: An Interview with Parrish Hanna and Chris Thibodeau
- Throwing Light on Dark UX with Design Awareness
IEEE Xplore, a digital library, delivers quality technical literature in electrical engineering, computer science, and electronics in its full-text form. This paper by Gong Chao of the Beijing Institute of Technology is one such article that is of good use for someone studying UI engineering online; its focus is on the concept of HMI visualization design.
- Problem relating to HMI visualization design
- Visualizable HMI as an attribute
- Visualization design principles
Written by Eva Hornecker, this paper explores tangible interruption as an “umbrella term” and as a research area. While tangible interaction is an interdisciplinary area that spans human-computer interaction (HCI) and interaction design, it “specializes on interfaces or systems that are in some way physically embodied – be it in physical artifacts or in environments.” Because it covers so many areas related to UI engineering, this article is an important read for someone studying UI engineering online.
- History of tangible interaction
- Tangible user interfaces
- Product/Industrial design
- Multiple perspectives and their relation to tangible interaction
A product design company in the business since 1998, ZURB provides consulting, product design tools, and training. With a focus on “people-centric design that improves lives and creates financial success,” ZURB offers its blog as a resource for people who want to learn more about product design and UI engineering online.
Three posts we like from ZURB Blog:
The Bresslergroup shares its product innovation insights in its blog, Accelerator. With posts that cover industrial design, user experience, engineering, medial products, and more, Accelerator is a smart choice in resources for learning UI engineering online.
Three posts we like from Accelerator:
- 10 Biggest Innovations of 2014 to Influence Product Design
- Making the Complex Device Simple
- Blending Electrical Engineering into Our Speed-to-Market Culture
ustwo looks for the best design and engineering talent in the industry. They partner with world-leading brands and launch their own products with design and usability as their focus. The ustwo blog focuses on the company’s products and innovation, and their in-car HMI series is a must-read for people looking to learn UI engineering online.
Three posts we like from ustwo:
- The Near Future of In-Car HMI
- Looking at Now: Changing Patterns in HMI
- HMI – Where We Are Now and Where We Were
11. Aim Higher @Jabil
Aim Higher is the blog of Jabil, “a global manufacturing partner combining expertise in engineering, design, and supply chains for the world’s biggest brands.” Aim Higher is a content-rich blog dating back to March 2012 featuring posts about Jabil’s work, and it includes posts about HMI that are important for the study of UI engineering.
With degrees in electrical engineering and psychology, experience in the academic and industrial worlds, and his continuing work in design strategy, Don Norman is a renowned leader in design. His insights are crucial for someone looking to learn design and UI engineering online.
Three essays we like from Don Norman:
- DesignX: A Future Path for Design
- Having a vision is not enough–it must be implemented
- Natural User Interfaces Are Not Natural
Edited by Miguel Redondo, Crescencio Bravo, and Manuel Ortega, this eBook contains 16 papers presented at the seventh International Human-Computer Interaction in Ciudad Real, Spain. The book is organized according to the main areas of basic and applied research presented at the conference and is a comprehensive resource for people interested in learning UI engineering online.
- Ergonomics and human factors
- Usability and accessibility
- User-centered design
- User interface design and development
Cost: $119 with a FREE preview available
Available for purchase by chapter or the entire eBook, “Design of Visual and Auditory Human-Machine Interfaces with User Participation and Knowledge Support” is a chapter written by Gunnar Johannsen, in the book “Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics,” edited by Christopher M. Schick. This chapter specifically focuses on HMI for dynamic technical systems, such as industrial processes and vehicles and is an important text for learning UI engineering online.
- The need for multidisciplinary knowledge and experience for designers
- Available automatic and information technologies
- Capabilities and limitations of human users
- Psychological and organizational matters
- Ergonomic and cognitive engineering principles
- HMI design
- Chapter: $29.95
- eBook: $269
Edited by Konrad Baumann and Bruce Thomas and made available by the ACM Digital Library, “User Interface Design for Electronic Appliances” is an eBook with a foreword by Brenda Laurel and chapters by several thought leaders in UI design and engineering. The chapters cover a broad range of topics central to the UI field, making it a complete resource for those interested in learning UI engineering online.
- Interaction design process
- Design principles
- Alternative interaction techniques
- Design of on-screen user interfaces
- Standards in user-interface design
“Designing the User and System Interfaces” is a chapter in the book “Systems Analysis and Design in a Changing World,” sixth edition, by John Satzinger, Robert B. Jackson, and Stephen D. Burd. The chapter addresses two types of system interfaces, user interfaces and system interfaces, and related user-centered design concepts that are important principles for anyone learning UI engineering online.
- User interface design and its role in project success
- User-centered design
- Design principles
The Human Machine Interface (HMI) Guide: Industrial Automation Solutions from Texas Instruments (TI) detail the ways in which TI’s HMI system solutions “speed the design cycle with the right devices, software, tools and support.” With charts, graphs, diagrams, and other visuals, the guide is a complete resource for people looking to learn UI engineering online.
- Industrial HMI system usability
- HMI solutions
- Embedded processing
Epec’s technical engineering and design guides include data from their manufacturing capabilities to their inventory stocking programs for all of their engineered products. Of special interest to UI engineers is Epec’s User Interfaces – Technical Engineering Guide, which focuses on topics important to learning UI engineering.
- Membrane switches
- Touch panels
- Silicone rubber keypads
Cost: FREE upon completion of the Download Request Form
User Interface Engineering, an Advanced Interactive Technologies course from ETH Zurich, ensures students will be able to design and implement functional interactive systems. With an emphasis on gestures and HCI, this course is contains information important for learning UI engineering online.
- Sensors best suited to implementing a given design
- Gesture and stroke recognition
- Design choices during the implementation of an interactive system
Cost: Contact for information
An online course from Electronics Engineering Herald, the course on embedded systems is geared toward beginners and includes 19 modules. Upon completing Module 2, students choose from one of three module streams to follow, based on the hardware boards used in the course: Stream-Discovery, Stream-LPCXpressro, or Stream-AME-51. For learning UI engineering online, EE Herald’s course on embedded systems is a good choice for the introductory level.
- Introduction to embedded systems
- Introduction to programming
- Audio/video interface
DesignNews’ Curriculum Calendar offers current and archived classes in several topics, including UI. The Engineering Principles behind Advanced User Interface Technologies course, an archived class, features lecturer Jon Gabay and five days’ worth of content for those who want to learn UI engineering online.
- Introduction to advanced user interface technologies
- Touch technologies
- Streaming signal interfaces
- Futures and Bio Mechanoids
California State University, Fullerton provides its User Experience and Customer-Centered Design course series as part of its University Extended Education professional development program. Various courses focused on user experience and user-centered design are available online during the winter/spring, summer, and fall semesters for people interested in learning UI engineering online.
- Introduction to UX and UX research
- Analysis and planning for user-centered design
- Prototyping user-centered design solutions
- Concepts and practices in usability testing
Cost: Contact for information
The Interaction Design Foundation offers Interaction Design Online UX courses to its members, free of charge. The online, self-paced courses cover a broad range of topics, and while many are geared toward web design, there are several that include the psychology involved in user experience and user design, making them appropriate course choices for people learning UI engineering online.
Key courses we like from Interaction Design:
- Emotional Design: How to make products people will love
- Design Thinking: The Beginner’s Guide
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Psychology of Interaction Design: The Ultimate Guide
Cost: Interaction Design Foundation members take unlimited number of courses for free
- Student Membership – 1 Year: $98
What better way to learn UI engineering online than by using an instructor’s lecture notes? This outline of Ben Shneiderman’s “Designing the User Interface,” 3rd Edition was developed by Blaise W. Liffick, from the department of computer science at Millersville University.
- Human factor of interactive software
- Theories, principles, and guidelines
- Managing the design process
- Expert reviews, usability testing, surveys, and continuing assessment
An open forum provided by National Instruments, the UI Interest Group is an active forum with more than 1,270 members. The forum discusses and shares everything related to the front panel and user interface; as such, it is a useful source of information for those seeking to learn UI engineering online.
- UI controls
- Developing UI
- Custom UI
Siemens, “a global powerhouse positioned along the electrification value chain … as well as in the areas of medical imaging and in-vitro diagnostics,” offers its Industry Automation and Drive Technologies Forum as part of its industry online support site. For people interested in learning UI engineering online, the forum is a resource full of expertise and solutions, especially those relating to HMI.
- HMI operations
- HMI troubleshooting
- Monitoring multiple HMIs
A webcast, Changing the Face of Industrial HMI is part of the Control Engineering Webcast Series and sponsored by Advantech. Featured speakers Jonney Chang, Director of Advantech’s Industrial Automation Group, and Peter Welander, Content Manager of “Control Engineering,” explore how HMI has evolved in the industrial world. With clearly defined learning objectives, this webcast is a comprehensive resource for those looking to learn UI engineering online.
- From smart phones to multi-touch HMI
- Future HMI solutions
- Multi-touch panels’ impact on HMI
With nine videos from the User Interface 19 conference, UI19 OnDemand provides viewers with expert advice, tools, and techniques to immediately apply to their work. Several topics within the nine videos are helpful for learning UI engineering online, and we have highlighted a few of those that are available, below.
- Design for experiences
- Coordinating UX strategy with business objectives
- Design principles
This webcast by National Instruments offers insight into the challenges facing machine builders today and the methods and solutions innovative machine builders use to get an edge on the competition. Specifically, those interested in learning UI engineering online will learn how machine builders improve their control architectures with embedded systems to implement advanced control and monitor tasks.
- Improving control architectures with embedded systems
- The impact of graphical system design on the design process
- Embedded control and monitoring systems
This webinar features Altia CEO Mike Juran and his lessons learned from years of experience in the industry. His twelve pieces of actionable advice, perfect for people learning UI engineering online, are geared toward teams building user interfaces for embedded systems.
- Four key attributes of winning UIs
- How UI development affects various teams and disciplines
- The importance of testing
Presented by Tanya Kraljic and Timothy Lynch, this webinar addresses “the technical building blocks of, and the fundamental design considerations behind voice interfaces.” For people learning UI engineering online, this webinar is a great resource about voice interfaces and physical products.
- Lessons from early voice-enabled products
- Applying lessons to emerging technologies
- The decisions surrounding voice interfaces and emerging products like wearables and connected home products
Epec Engineered Technologies “designs and manufactures custom, build to print products, for all sectors of the electronics industry.” Their webinar, Re-Designing Legacy User Interfaces with 21st Century Keypad Technologies, addresses the need to update obsolete technology to meet the demands of 21st century UI design. Because of the way in which the webinar explores challenges and solutions in UI design, it is a useful resource for learning UI engineering online.
- High reliability UIs with Rigid, Rigid-Flex and PCB technologies
- Current updates to keypad backlighting technology
- Redesigning antiquated or obsolete UIs