Where possible, the controls on XIMA are identified through images instead of texts. At a first glance, this is certainly the most impressive advance of the new HMI compared to the old version. By replacing texts with images, XIMA succeeds in overcoming constraints deriving from different languages.
On a closed look, the images that took the place of textual labels are properly «icons». The graphics on XIMA buttons are chosen precisely because of their similarity to the function being controlled through that button.
XIMA is inspired by the principle of iconicity.
For example, the product hopper is represented as a fuel tank, regardless of the specific device used to perform this function. Its status is displayed through the adoption of universal color codes: “green” when the container is full, “orange” when it is almost empty and, finally, “red” when all the product is finished.
Users search for clues, for any sign that might help them cope and understand. As they are drawn up, the icons of XIMA act as perceivable indicators that suggest appropriate functions to the operator.