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Through years of experience and customer feedback, we have identified twenty critical principles that must be taken into account when designing an audio visual solution. These are the 20 Design Factors that we use to guide the engineering of our AV systems.
Many of the factors in this list are in competition with one another. For instance, functionality and ease-of-use naturally have an inverse relationship. If many controls are provided to perform various tasks, the more difficult the solution will be to use.
Another example of this conflict occurs between security and ease of service. If the security of hardware is too extreme, it will be difficult to service or replace components in the future.
By finding an effective balance between these critical design factors, we are able to apply our unique approach to AV design and integration to provide AV systems that end users quickly accept as an effective tool to be used regularly.
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Without intuitive ease of use and/or adequate training for those who need additional assistance, systems will not be fully utilized.
Training should encourage the user to embrace the technology and inspire their creative use of visual and audio content.
Intuitive ease of use is in conflict with functionality. The challenge is to add functionality while maintaining intuitive ease of use.
Nomad is renowned for predictable, intuitive ease of use. This is accomplished through attention to detail for all design factors with specific attention to control system layout, furniture design, custom labeling and reliability.
Nomad incorporates a single controller with easy to follow buttons and built-in help.
Reliable systems promote increased usage and intuitive ease of use, while unreliable systems discourage usage and increase frustration.
Durable systems, components and design should be able to absorb a certain amount of abuse without failure. Samples of abuse might include wheeled versions being pushed over cobblestone areas or excessive weight placed on flip-up work surfaces.
Reliability and durability encourage use and protect the investment.
Reliability requires an investment in high quality components, design time to improve reliability as well as time to test with other standard components.
More durable surfaces, hardware components and production methods increase cost making reliability and durability in conflict with Price.
Nomad’s unique approach of providing standard models, qualified options and a consistent manufacturing process promotes reliability as components are consistently used and tested together.
Nomad carefully chooses its components with attention to reliability and durability… from hardware items such as wheels and drawer slides to electronic components such as the document camera and control system. Each piece is evaluated for reliability and durability and balanced against all of the other design factors.
Taking reasonable precautions to reduce risk of injury reduces liability.
Wire paths that minimize trip hazards can be in conflict with Convenience.
Nomad takes care in design and production to reduce hazards. One example is wire path management that directs external wires low to the ground to reduce trip hazards.
From classroom, to conference room to courtroom, available space is often at a premium. Audio visual system design should seek to minimize the footprint requirements of the furniture and related infrastructure.
Minimizing footprint is in conflict with nearly every other Design Factor. As an example, as you minimize the footprint, you reduce the variety of sized components that will physically fit. Audio visual furniture manufacturers want to allow all sizes of document cameras, all sizes of computers, etc. so as not to say no to any potential buyer. This results in a much larger footprint and less ergonomics.
Nomad designs and manufacturers its own furniture to fit specific standards of equipment vs. trying to fit all shapes and sizes. Great effort is made to minimize the footprint while balancing against other important design factors – such as ergonomics & convenience. ie. Nomad selects high quality document cameras that will physically fit in a small space.
Standardized components allows for greater reliability, intuitive ease of us and cost savings.
Component selection can be in conflict with minimal footprint.
Nomad selects high quality, reliable, compact components that will minimize footprint while holding down cost. These components are qualified and tested to work with all the other selected components.
Ergonomic design helps to avoid eyestrain and other physical stresses associated with interacting with audio visual systems. This is done through proper height placement of highly interactive devices such as the confidence monitor, keyboard and mouse location, etc.
Ergonomics can be in conflict with minimal footprint, line of sight issues
Nomad pays great attention to the importance of ergonomics and convenience. Nomad prioritizes the convenience and ergonomics of highly interactive components by placing them at the users fingertips while still trying to balance against the other design factors.
It is important that an audio visual systems address the needs of the user… providing the capabilities to meet the user’s vision for audio visual implementation. At the same time, an audio video supplier should be guiding the user on issues of ease of use, potential costs and challenges.
As functionality increases, so does the challenge to minimize footprint, compatibility between required components and maintain intuitive ease of use.
Nomad has created platforms and qualified options that meet nearly any vision for audio visual implementation. When the question is “Can I do…?” the most likely answer is yes.
With certain requests, Nomad will say no… as we would rather part friends than commit to a configuration that is unlikely to succeed.
In general, one of Nomad’s core philosophies is “If you can think of it, there should be an EASY way to present it.” A big challenge of functionality is managing the paradigm of “The more a system can do… the more difficult it is likely to be to operate..
ADA compliance and height adjustability are in conflict with price and minimal footprint. In addition, the convenience of highly interactive components is even more important.
Nomad offers two ADA compliant systems… the Nomad ADA and PS Systems. The Nomad ADA also provides height adjustability.
Mobility can provide a cost-effective solution when equipment in every room is not in the budget.
Mobile systems can also be used to quickly bring audio visual technology where fixed systems have failed.
In disaster prone areas, mobile systems may allow users to move the systems to higher ground … protecting the investment, eliminating the need to reacquire damaged systems and dealing with the loss of use until the systems are replaced.
Mobility can be in conflict with intuitive ease of use, appearance, face forward presentations, line of sight issues and more.
Nomad offers multiple mobile systems.
Mobility is not just a matter of putting four wheels on a piece of furniture. Other important details include pivoting vs. non pivoting wheels, wheel size, non-marking wheel material, wheel brakes, handles to reduce center of gravity and improve steering, retractable handles that save space and improve appearance, input/output panel location to reduce trip hazard and increase user visibility, reduced cable requirements to simplify and speed installation and deinstallation and more. Not all users are interested in mobility, but when mobility is needed, proper implementation can be the difference between success and failure.
A presenter should be facing his or her audience. Eye contact and body language are important elements of effective communications.
How many times have you seen a presenter facing the big screen to remind them of the content and/or pointing to important topics on the screen.
Face forward presentations can be in conflict with line of sight when a confidence monitor is deployed improperly. It can also be in conflict with price as engineering and special confidence monitor solutions are enacted to promote face forward presentations.
Nomad systems all offer confidence monitors. The confidence monitors are installed so as to minimize any line of sight issues and promote face forward presentations.
On the Nomad ADA System, the hexagon shape and layout allow wheelchair bound users to easily address all possible sources while maintaining face forward presentations.
Vandalized or stolen systems/components impact usage and can be expensive.
Security can be in conflict with many other design factors such as Ease of Service, Ease of Production, Price, Mobility and Ease of Use (ie. passwords or other lengthy security processes)
Nomad’s overall design diminishes theft by securing components and cabling to the furniture.
Nomad also has employed more aggressive security measures based on customer requests. These measures have included implementation of:
We work with prospective customers to reach a mutually, comfortable level of security.
There never seems to be enough spaces for users to put their presentation materials.
In conflict with small footprint and need to have interactive components at convenient heights.
Nomad addresses this best with the design of LT furniture that has more open spaces and the flip-ups on and PS and LITE.
AV systems should be visually pleasing and fit in with the décor of the room that they are supporting.
Our systems have an all-in-one retractable design and were engineered with appearance in mind. They are available in a wide variety of styles, colors and grain patterns. When using laminate, a large selection chain of samples can be provided for the customer to choose from.
Nomad Systems are fully retractable to create the best possible appearance and save space.
The amount of functionality required for presentations is based on the organizations needs.
More flexibility (functionality) could lead to reduced intuitive ease of use.
Our systems include control menus that reflect the functionality your organization needs while preserving an intuitive layout that has been proven to be easy to use through 100’s of installations.
Ease of production reduces cost, improves reliability and serviceability.
This design factor is in conflict with appearance.
A rectangular box is easy to produce, but not very appealing.
Nomad has worked hard to create an attractive style and balance of all the other design factors to include ease of production.
The audience must be able to see the content and presenter in order to follow along with the presentation.
The presenter should be able to maintain eye contact with the audience without blind spots.
Line of sight may be in conflict with:
It costs money to design a system with a confidence monitor. It costs more money to have the confidence monitor display all images as selected and even more to place/tilt the confidence monitor in such a way as to not hinder the line of sight between the audience and the presenter.
Document cameras when deployed or placed on higher surfaces contribute to line of sight issues.
Nomad systems include a confidence monitor that is mounted to a proprietary tilt mechanism that allows the monitor to be rotated in order to minimize or eliminate line of sight issues.
The line of sight design parameter is part of Nomad’s document camera selection and placement.
Proper design simplifies the ability to address unexpected service or support issues as well as any required upgrades or modification.
Ease of service and modification are often in conflict with:
Security as components that are easily removed can also be more easily borrowed or stolen.
Appearance as access doors, screws, etc. can detract from the appearance.
May also be in conflict with line of sight, ADA compliance, component selection and minimal footprint.
Nomad has designed our furniture to keep service methodologies invisible to the audience.
In addition, Nomad uses its experience to properly balance against all the other design factors that may be in conflict with Ease of Service and Ease of Modification.
Since room time is often at a premium, quick installation can be important. Minimizing infrastructure requirements can also reduce installation time as well as allow a system to be repurposed more easily. Utilization of Cat5 cabling can reduce the number of cables needed and are the easiest cables to install.
Minimizing infrastructure can shift the costs burden from installation to the system.
Nomad standardizes on Cat5 cabling methodology to reduce number of cables, complexity of cable installation and related costs.
Nomad systems are easily redeployed as nearly all components are internal to the system.
Everyone likes to be able to impress. This is true of the audio visual world as well.
Cool factor is generally in direct conflict to price.
Nomad implements the cool factor whenever possible. Examples would be the ability to annotate over any presented image, the Bose Sound System, self-closing slides, height adjustability, etc.
We would love to learn about your project.