InfoComm Dashboard for Controls - Midwestern University

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Dashboard for Controls - Midwestern University

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Midwestern University Standardization of Touchscreen Controls

Midwestern University is a health sciences university with two campuses: one in Downers Grove, Illinois, and the other in Glendale, Arizona. Our director, Kathleen Dooley, who oversees the Media Resource groups on both campuses, has charged the department to implement standards in order to increase service consistency.

Before the Touchpanel Standardization

Various touchpanel designs throughout our university, each with unique functions and layouts, made the operation of AV controls difficult. This was especially true if instructors unexpectedly needed to lecture in another building where they would find themselves facing an unfamiliar touchpanel. Weekend and evening set-ups could also prove challenging because the person called in to help with the set-up often had to rethink touchpanel structures specific to that building.

Another issue, not so specific to touchpanel design, was that each room was equipped with only one microphone transmitter that could be fitted with either a lavaliere or headset, depending on the instructors need. Instructors wanted a better solution than fiddling with connectors, and we needed to eliminate the wear and tear at the connection.


In February 2006, we received the go ahead to completely renovate the AV in two of our lecture halls (Sahuaro A&B) on the Glendale campus, both of which were identical in size and purpose:

  • Audio support with wireless microphones
  • Video projection
  • Document cameras
  • Screen up and down

Crestron controls had already been selected as part of our departmental equipment standardization initiative so we focused our attention on touchpanel interface design. Client needs and room functions were merged into a graphic wire frame using the "Dashboard for Controls" template. Considering that webpage and touchpanel design/navigations are similar in nature, Midwestern University's public website was used as a template for the graphic design.

After the Installation

Revamping Sahuaro A&B was the start of our Touchpanel Standardization initiative. Our faculty and staff have given positive reviews with regard to the new annotation monitors, improved sound quality, and the ease of switching between lavaliere or headset microphones, all of which are under the control of our touchpanel design. It is interesting to note that these compliments lean more toward the actual AV functions rather than ease of control offered by the touchpanel. But how often is a car complimented on its "easy to use" dashboard?

The roll-out plan to incorporate this touchpanel design into other buildings is scheduled to coincide with AV control upgrades beginning in January of 2007. At this point, realization of cost savings will occur due to the already completed and proven touchpanel programming and design.

Once the roll-out is completed campus-wide, a one-time training session will allow instructors to easily use any touchpanel on campus. Our goal is to make operating AV in any room on our campuses as simple as driving a car.

David Bauman September, 2006

David is the Media Resource's manager for the Glendale Campus. He is also a member of InfoComm's Dashboard Steering Committee. Prior to Midwestern University, he was the product manager for McDonald's corporate intranet.