From complexity to simplicity: designing the GLM 4 UI

null From complexity to simplicity: designing the GLM 4 UI

From complexity to simplicity: designing the GLM 4 UI

My background in design is very practical. I actually started to build log houses when I was a youngster and after high school I decided to go and study something creative. So I started at design school in Lahti and then continued my studies in Helsinki.

The subjects were very practical and craft orientated, such as workshops and material studies. This was excellent since it gave me a good understanding of how materials act. In my design team there are now usually around 20 people working with very complicated subjects, who then hopefully turn them into something very simple. Our job is to understand the core of the challenge and basically work out how to solve things!

Creating GLM 4 was a very long process, and we were working for almost two years on developing the new UI (User Interface). Now that the work is complete, I firmly believe that the GLM 4 user experience is excellent.

The design challenges were firstly to understand the large ‘map’ of speakers, and then work out how to make everything very simple and very intuitive. I think we were very lucky to have this freely growing platform and appearance of the honeycomb grid, which creates a free flow of understanding of the map of the speakers, and also gives freedom to adjust and understand the audio and how it surrounds you. The UI design is playful but very professional, and with the new graphics and visual appearance I think it’s very well integrated for Genelec performance.

I’ve obviously been very involved in the industrial design of many Genelec speakers, but when we’re comparing working with speakers to working with user interfaces, it’s a bit like moving between the 2D and 3D worlds. But in the end it’s basically very similar: we’re working with the simplicity of use and we’re working with the aesthetics.

In the world of Genelec, without a good UI your ability to use the loudspeakers themselves is compromised to a large degree. So there have been many design challenges to overcome in integrating all the functions and still be able to do everything in a very simple way. But this simplicity doesn’t mean that the system itself is simple. It just means that it’s intuitive and it’s enjoyable to use.

And for me a big part of the satisfaction is in knowing that GLM 4 empowers the end user to really feel that they can master and control their devices, turning them into something truly excellent. I hope you enjoy using GLM 4 as much as I enjoyed helping to create it!

About the author

Harri Koskinen

Internationally renowned Finnish designer Harri Koskinen has been collaborating with Genelec for many years, bringing a unique voice to the aesthetic of our loudspeakers and subwoofers. Harri’s first collaboration with us was the 6040 model back in 2002, and since then he has played a key role in the development of countless Genelec products.

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