Niko: iOS Design on Embedded Hardware in Three Days

Niko designs and produces advanced solutions for electrical switching material, lighting controls, home automation systems, videophones, and more. The company is based out of Sint-Niklaas in Belgium.

The user experience of their products is at the core of their business, as customers choose Niko products for their ease of installation and use, for their design, and the quality.

iOS platforms have been their go-to for a while, as this type of platform gives you maximum graphical power. The price point, however, is not very favorable.

  • Product name: GUI Performance Test
  • Function: Operating Display
  • Hardware: NXP i.MX RT1050 Cortex M7

Relying on customers’ device range for product control, can be an issue as well. Those are some of the reasons why Niko wanted to explore the possibilities of an embedded product in terms of user experience.

Switching on the Light Should be a One-Step Process

For this exploration, TouchGFX and Niko decided to make an interface on an embedded platform that could control lights, shutters, heating and more. Quality, great design, and usability is what Niko’s products are known for, and it is essential to Niko that these assets maintain their quality on an embedded platform.

VIDEO: What is important to Niko when developing a new product?

iOS Design Performance on a Cortex M7 Microcontroller

A major point for Niko in general, and their design team specifically, is to ensure a unified experience across all platforms. Users must feel at home when using Niko’s products meaning that the design of one platform should be equal to the next.

It sounds simple enough, but creating smartphone graphics on an embedded platform is no simple task. That is why TouchGFX and our UI workshop was so relevant for Niko to try.

“We are looking into frameworks for designing GUIs on small displays driven by an embedded platform. TouchGFX caught our attention as we believe that their easy-to-use platform can help speed up our R&D development.”
– Karel Van Haver, Hardware & Embedded SW Engineer at Niko

Niko delivered a iOS design that was the basis of our work and in three days, we were able to bring the well-known Niko quality and design to life on an NXP i.MX RT1050 Cortex M7 platform.

Designing, Coding, and Testing on the Fly at Embedded World

Niko took the chance to test the possibilities of realizing their stunning GUI design on an embedded platform in our live UI workshop at Embedded World. An offer given by our partner Logic Technology who took the initiative of setting up the live UI workshop and approached Niko for participating.


NIKO Demo EW18

Pictures from the workshop at Embedded World 2018. The first picture includes Henrik Goul from TouchGFX and Isabelle Van Overloop from Niko presenting the project to trade fair guests. Second and third picture show Henrik and Isabelle engaging visitors in on-site user tests.

VIDEO: What did Niko think about this workshop?

In the buzzing setting of Europe’s busiest electronics trade fair, our UX’er, Designer, and Developer, teamed up with Niko’s design team. The task was to create a user experience equal to an iOS app, and despite the hectic surroundings, we succeeded.

VIDEO: What was it like working with the TouchGFX team?

The set-up at Embedded World was unique, but the UI workshop is tried and tested. Learn more about our design, UX, and GUI services and packages here.

It Can Be Done! – What Is Next?

As seen above, Niko was very pleased with the process and outcome. The video below is a quick demo of the initial prototype result.

With a successful workshop in the bag, we are excited to see what the next step for our Niko collaboration will be.

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