HMI demos and Storyboard Suite at TU-Automotive Detroit 2015

TU-Automotive Detroit is just around the corner, June 3-4 in Novi, Michigan, so we are getting the Storyboard Suite demos ready to hit the road. This is a great automotive show to check out the latest in connected car technology, autonomous driving, safety & security, mobility, and more!


See us at TU-Automotive Detroit, June 3-4

HMI & Storyboard Suite demos in the Crank booth, C113

Stop by the Crank Software booth (C113) to see some cool automotive HMI cluster and infotainment demos on a variety of platforms, created by our talented design team using Storyboard Suite. In addition, we will be demoing the ease of designing, developing, and deploying rich HMIs with the latest features in Storyboard, so be sure to talk to us about taking a tour of our tool suite.

Partner demos

While cruising the show floor, visit the QNX Software Systems booth, #C92, to see a digital instrument cluster developed with Storyboard Suite.
Speaking of QNX, check out a recent guest post we contributed to the QNX Auto blog, to learn more about designing automotive clusters.



GUI Design with Storyboard Suite for the Renesas RZ/A1

GUI Design for Renesas RZ/A1It’s Demo Friday! Ok, that’s probably not a thing but it is Friday and we’ve got a new demo for you. Today’s demo further showcases the scalability of GUI design with Storyboard Suite.

The Renesas RZ/A1 MPU’s unique architecture – with up to 10 megabytes (MB) of on-chip RAM and the ability to execute in place from inexpensive QSPI flash memory – eliminates the need for SDRAM from Linux systems, enabling high performance, low-cost systems and simple board design.

GUI Design demo for the Renesas RZ/A1

This demo quickly showcases home-security and washing machine applications built with Storyboard Suite for the Renesas RZ/A1 MPU running XIP Linux. The video shows the applications running directly on hardware, with touch interaction.

(Check out the 40 second mark to see how impressively fast we get the application up and running on hardware. Blink and you’ll miss it!)


Crank at Automotive Cockpit HMI USA 2015

It’s nearly mid-May which means a couple of things:

  1. Spring has FINALLY hit (Go Canada!) so we are starting to thaw.
  2. It’s time to load up our GUI demos and hit the road (airports) for some of our favourite embedded industry shows!

First stop – Automotive Cockpit HMI USA 2015, May 19-21


We love automotive technology. And we love making it look better and more user friendly. Visit Crank Software at the Automotive Cockpit HMI USA 2015 show next week to check out some demos of automotive HMIs we’ve built with Storyboard Suite. Of course, you’ll be able to touch and interact with the automotive demos so that you can experience first-hand the beauty and user-focused refinements that can be created with a GUI design tool that keeps graphic designers involved throughout the entire development cycle.

For some other examples of HMI applications designed with Storyboard Suite, check out the QNX Bentley Concept Car and the Mississippi State University EcoCAR.


We will also be showcasing the latest features and enhancements in Storyboard Suite, and providing quick demos to highlight some key features that make designing GUIs for automotive fast and painless, without sacrificing quality or function. Here are a couple of examples of demos you might want to catch:

  • Photoshop Import – There’s no faster way to kickstart GUI design in Storyboard Suite than starting with your existing artwork. Also, here are some PSD to Storyboard tips!
  • Animation Timeline - The Animation Timeline helps you quickly create the perfect UI by providing a quick and visual editing environment for creating GUI animations
  • Photoshop Re-import - Design change is inevitable, so we developed a way to easily update artwork–without causing design churn and throwaway code

This is just the tip of the iceberg, so if you are at the show make sure you come find us because we are super friendly Canadians and we love talking to industry folks. If you aren’t going to the show, you can always download the 30-day trial and try your hand at making awesome GUIs.

Rapid and Scalable GUI Design with Storyboard Suite

STM32 MCU evaluation board and Storyboard SuiteAs we create multi-market demo applications here at Crank, we like to deploy them across multiple hardware platforms to fully test their look and feel. This helps us ensure that the GUI design we’ve created performs and looks as intended, and it also helps us validate the scalability of Storyboard Suite across different platforms.

GUI Design Demo

Here’s a quick video of a Storyboard Suite demo featuring 3 applications deployed to an STM32 MCU evaluation board. These applications were created by UI Designers quickly in Storyboard Suite, ensuring an elegant visual design and a rich user experience.

Three Changes Affecting Graphical User Interface (GUI) Design

GUI Design Crank StoryboardGUI design is changing, both the process and the end product a customer interacts with on a device. This is in response to a changing market. Screens are everywhere. Refrigerators and laundry machines have interactive displays. Home automation systems are becoming more mainstream.  Our cars have technologically advanced infotainment systems and clusters that rival my 80’s dreams of the future KITT car.  The prevalence of screens has created a shift in how user interfaces are created.

There are three major GUI design changes that affect how we now need to work:

Mobile has raised expectations

The rise of mobile has raised the bar for aesthetics and user experience. There’s no room for old school graphics that include bland buttons and monochrome displays. Mobile devices have opened up users to rich UIs that are responsive, crisp, and elegant. Embedded applications have to live up to that experience.

Project teams are evolving

Due to the requirement to build richer user experiences, development teams have grown to include designers. This means tools and development processes have to extend to include them.

Graphics are created. And changed. And then changed again.

Design change is inevitable because applications are tested and re-tested. The UI is continuously evolving and requiring updates. Designers no longer hand over a mockup to a developer to visually represent with code and then walk away. The graphics have to change, which means the designer stays engaged in the process.

To respond to the changes in the market, tools for GUI design have to evolve. Processes have to be able to respond to change.

Check out our recent webinar with Freescale, to see how Storyboard Suite responds to the call for GUI design changes.

Also, view this quick video demo that we used in the webinar that showcases how Storyboard Suite is different.