When you design your product, you face plenty of technical questions, several of which may be related to product control issues. One of the factors that contribute to a positive user experience is an appropriately designed physical interface for operating your product. Properly thought-out control panels and front panels are what plays a significant role in ensuring user comfort. They are also perfect for personalizing devices in terms of where they are distributed.
Even though the control panel and the front panel seem similar at first glance, performing additionally the same functions, there are a few key differences which you should be aware of at the initial stage of designing electronic devices. In today’s article we will look at the three most important aspects that distinguish control panels from front panels, which will certainly make it easier for you to choose the right component for your device.
1. Functionality: advanced capabilities of control panels vs. clear presentation in front panels
Front and control panels are above all an element that must provide the user with the highest possible functionality while keeping operation simple. Control panels are characterized by advanced control and interaction with the device. Touch areas, light elements and displays allow users to manage functions of the device easily and intuitively. Contrary to front panels, whose main task is to present information in a clear manner and provide easy access to the most essential functions of electronic devices.
Control panels provide users with more advanced control options. Front panels, on the other hand, focus on the simplicity of communicating information. As you can see, it is worth taking this aspect into consideration already at this stage of designing the device.
2. Uniqueness and esthetics
Due to their design, control panels can be interesting esthetic elements, which will distinguish the electronic device from similarly performing competitor products. The possibility of casting many thousands of identical panels from plastic makes automation and acceleration of many production processes possible, and the model, once prepared, can be freely personalized in terms of the language of the device and the functions of a particular model over many years of the life of the product on the market.
Those in opposition to the above-mentioned arguments are front panels which, while focusing on overall simplicity, are distinguished by greater flexibility in the selection of locations and functions in the device. On the one hand, they can become an alternative to language personalization by communicating to the user in a static way where to set the program selection knob. On the other hand, they are an ideal way to label the sockets hidden in the invisible nooks and crannies of the back of the product housing.
The assembly of control panels is more complicated, which is why, in most cases, it is recommended that it be carried out while still on the production line. This limitation is a result of the fact that the control panel must be mounted inside the device housing, connected to the relevant electronic circuits.
On the other hand, when you decide to use front panels in your device, their exceptionally easy assembly, which is only about applying the prepared plate with an adhesive layer to the appropriate place of the device, means that personalization of the language or a specific model in a series of products can be passed into the hands of the customer who will place the plate at home without unnecessary complications.
The choice between control panel and front panel depends on the intended use
Control panels and front panels have their own unique features which determine the way they should be used as well as their preferred use. The choice between them depends on the specifics and complexity of the project. It is repeatedly necessary to take into consideration important, from the point of view of usability, expectations of the customer who will ultimately use the equipment for the next few years.
Control panels appear to be an element that has an impact on the esthetics to a significantly larger extent and opens more operation options for users of electronic devices. An unquestionable advantage of front panels is their simplicity which affects both the price of single details and a more flexible approach to the assembly.
Screen-printing at Etisoft Group
If you are you looking for a screen-printing house that will successfully secure your supply chain and has many years of experience in providing control panels and front panels to the giants of the home appliances, audio/video devices and automotive industries, then you are in the right place. Our experts will prepare the right offer for you taking your needs into account.
You can rely on expert advice on the technical aspects of printing as well as consultation in choosing the ideal solution for your device.