Mr. Loosli, what type of interfaces do you absolutely not like personally?
Anything that feels rubbery or sticky. It's strange to touch these types of surfaces; your finger sticks a bit and you can never really tell whether they're dirty or not.
What is important for the interfaces of your products?
We design user interfaces that meet certain command and notification requirements. They need to be ergonomic and intuitive, so that a tram driver, for example, can use them without having to look. Drivers need to be able to know as soon as they touch them which element they're using. The geometry of the operating element – specifically, the form – is more important than the material characteristics. The feedback that users get when they press a button is also important, such as a click or a beep. The most important thing is for them to know that the command has been carried out.
What are some of the daily activities at EAO?
We develop innovative, intuitive, and reliable mechatronic products that facilitate the interaction between people and machines. These include buttons, joysticks, and keyboards, for example, as well as complete operating systems, known as human machine interfaces (HMI). Our products are primarily found in public transport vehicles, machine engineering equipment, and specialized vehicles, like excavators, tractors, and fire engines – anywhere where durability and robustness are required. We are also involved in global sales and consultations. We have our own sales companies and distribution agencies in some 60 countries around the world, and we work as a manufacturer with international suppliers.