ISA101 Style Guide to Include Throwback Thursday Guidelines

The ISA101 standard is intended to manage the Human-Machine Interface (HMI) lifecycle. The standard defines the main HMI lifecycle stages as design, implementation and operation, while providing additional considerations for HMI philosophy, style and toolkits. The main goal of ISA101 is to provide a consistent approach to HMI design to give operators the pertinent information they need in an easy to comprehend manner to make more informed decisions.

ISA101 provides for a modern HMI approach with simplified graphics, emphasizing contextual meaning of the data, and limited use of color to make alarms and events easier for the operator to notice.

But operators long for the days of HMI graphics that are cluttered, splashed with a rainbow of colors, and hard to navigate. Thus the idea behind the new Throwback Thursdays guidelines. Throwback Thursday, or #TBT, is a popular trend on the internet and social media to share nostalgic pictures and relive past experiences. The ISA101 committee felt that this trend should be brought directly to the plant floor.

“Everyone loves it when a football team wears their old uniforms, we felt that operators would enjoy a sense of nostalgia while running their process,” says ISA101 committee member Kyle Cotler.

Now, to bring a little fun to the end of the work week, plant operators can switch to “Throwback” mode, and the hideous screens of the past will reappear.

“This has been great,” says plant operator Kurt Hingle, “having the old screens back brings a new challenge to the work day.”

The ISA101 committee felt it important to provide guidelines for system integrators to use when developing throwback mode applications. There are a lot of bad practices that should not be forgotten in order to have an effective throwback HMI. And there should be lots of teal colored backgrounds.

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