Comfort bed hand control HC40 based on user input and usability tests

User-friendly – asking users what they need

There is really only one way to succeed when designing products with a high degree of usability. Ask the users what they want, need, and expect! That was exactly what LINAK® did before starting the design process towards the hand control HC40 for comfort beds.

Asking users what they need makes a user-friendly hand control: HC40

The design and functionality of the comfort furniture hand control HC40 are largely based on the answers collected from an extensive user survey. Combined with input from several bed brands and manufacturers, LINAK now offers what is arguably the most user-oriented hand control for actuator systems on the market.

Below we would like to share how usability is integrated with the HC40 design. Including, why we decided to create two designs in two editions – the HC40 TWIST™ and HC40 FRAME™, Standard and Advanced, respectively.

Click on each of the below sections for more details:

  • The feel, grip and touch of the HC40
    How reference lines, soft edges, tactile buttons, weight, sound, backlight etc. provide the rounded experience of a high-quality product. Focus: Standard and Advanced editions.

  • User interface with guiding notifications
    How we use the display screen both as a guide and to feature personal notifications to assist the user with ordinary issues. Focus: Advanced editions
     
  • Short summary
    Get the quick overview in bullets.

The feel, grip and touch of the HC40
To accommodate the diversity in bed types and designs, the HC40 comes in two designs – the HC40 FRAME™ and the HC40 TWIST™. One comes with an elegant metallic frame, while the other comes in a chic twisted shape. Each comes in a Standard and an Advanced edition. The Advanced edition comes with additional unique features that provide value for the end-user.

The look of the HC40 is smooth and soft. However, on request from the users, we have given it a matt surface, preventing visible fingerprints and sustaining the overall clean look.

It is not enough to look great. Hand controls for comfort beds must be easy to pick up quickly – even in the dark at night. When picking up either the HC40 FRAME™ or the HC40 TWIST™, you immediately have an optimal grip and a clear sense of what is up and down on the hand control. Reference lines on the back guide you to perfect balance in the palm of your hand – even when the lights are out.

Imagine!
You wake up in the middle of the night. You reach for the hand control. But you struggle to get a proper grip in the dark, so you end up knocking it off the bedside table.

When you finally get a hold of it, it is upside down, and in the dark you cannot really tell which button is for what. You give up!

Well, not anymore!
We made it easy for you to navigate the hand control quickly, easily and comfortably.

 

Contrary to what you might think, touchscreens are not a desired feature for products that are often operated in dark environments. We discovered that many users preferred soft touch buttons instead of a touchscreen. That is why we designed a panel of convex and inverted shapes of specific buttons, allowing the user to easily differentiate buttons in the dark. In the Advanced editions, backlight in the buttons will also turn on in dark environments to guide the user. We even added a central navigation point on the front to give the user a clear tactile waypoint when accessing the functions.

The keypads for the HC40 have also been refined to give users the perfect tactile feedback when operating the hand control. For instance, we recognise that sound plays a role for users. That is why we also focused on getting the proper resistance when pushing the buttons and getting the right ‘click’-sound.

Equally, the sheer weight of the hand control was also considered during development. If a hand control is too light, it could be considered too fragile and would also be hard to grip properly. Make it too heavy and it will appear clumsy.

The tactile buttons and soft edges add to the perfect grip

User interface with guiding notifications
As mentioned above, the HC40 comes in both a Standard and an Advanced edition. Both include all the physical features and advantages, making them ergonomically sublime and extremely intuitive to use. The Under Bed Light (UBL) function is also available in both editions. Shining a dimmed light onto the floor under the bed, the UBL makes it much easier to get up at night without having to wake up the partner.

The Advanced editions, however, come with a colour display screen and many integrated options, greatly increasing the user experience. Take for instance the additional light feature, the ‘torch-function’. Shake the hand control twice sideways to turn on the torch light, illuminating your way at night without waking up your partner. No more walking into the dresser in the dark.

The display was utilised not only to adjust the bed, but also to provide additional benefits. Take for instance a display notification telling the user when batteries need to be changed or the personalised greetings “Good morning, Julie”, or a bell icon when the built-in silent alarm activates the bed’s massage motor and gently wakes the user. The HC40 Advanced editions also come with step-by-step display guides telling you how to pair the hand control to the right side of the bed.

The display is also used to show how to unlock the child lock.

Enter your name to get personal notifications in the HC40 Advanced
 

A guide in the display will let the users know that the hand control is locked and will guide them to unlock it in one simple step.

For more information about the Advanced editions, please visit: HC40 Advanced editions – great design, packed with features.


Use the child lock to avoid unintended movement. Use the guiding notifications to unlock the child lock.

Imagine!
You have small children who find an adjustable bed hilarious. You can hide the hand control to avoid it getting in the wrong hands. But, as we all know, kids have their ways, and before you know it you hear a light buzz from the bedroom and a giggle.

Well, not anymore! Simply enable the child lock. The display will show you how to unlock in one step. It will be locked for unintended movement and is easy to use when you need to.

 

Short summary
The complete user interface, the design, the shape, and all the functions – everything in the hand control HC40 has been tested by real users. We know that usability means everything!

Everything we did to improve usability:

  • User survey and extensive prototyping
  • Matt surface, soft edges and comfortable grip
  • Tactile buttons with a pleasant sound
  • Perfect weight
  • Reference lines on the back, and navigation point on the front to provide perfect grip
  • Five-way keypad known from other consumer products
  • Backlight in buttons and adaptable display light in Advanced editions
  • Guiding notifications, e.g. pairing guide and unlock of child lock
  • Personal notifications, such as: ‘Good morning, Julie!’
  • Silent alarm – an alarm that gently shakes you awake in the morning (uses massage motors)
  • Torch – Shake the Advanced editions sideways twice to turn torch light on/off
  • Child lock
  • Exchangeable batteries

For more details on either the Standard editions or the Advance editions, please visit our HC40 focus site: Designed with you in mind.

Videos

LINAK hand control HC40 FRAME for adjustable comfort beds play-icon

LINAK Hand Control HC40 FRAME™ for adjustable comfort beds

LINAK hand control HC40 TWIST™ for adjustable comfort beds play-icon

LINAK hand control HC40 TWIST™ for adjustable comfort beds

HC40 Advanced - How to use-navigate play-icon

HC40 Advanced: How to use

HC40 - Change batteries play-icon

How to change batteries in the LINAK hand control HC40 FRAME™

HC40 - Factory reset play-icon

HC40 Advanced: How to factory reset

HC40 - Get started play-icon

HC40 Advanced: How to get started

HC40 - How to save favourite positions play-icon

HC40 - How to save favourite positions

HC40 - How to save shortcuts in display play-icon

HC40 Advanced: How to save shortcuts

Files

HC40 FRAME™

This is a new generation of hand controls for adjustable comfort beds - designed with you in mind. With the metallic frame, the HC40 FRAME™ versions differ in look from its counterparts, the HC40 TWIST™.

HC40 TWIST™

This is a new generation of hand controls for adjustable comfort beds - designed with you in mind. With a unique twisting shape the HC40 TWIST™ differs in look from its counterparts the HC40 FRAME™ versions