Are there "user intefrace" solutions for Arduino based gadgets? Solutions, that is, accepted as something more or less standard by the community. I am unaware of the relevant keywords, if there are some, so let me explain:

A modern computer has a standard keyboard and a standard mouse, which together cover 99.99% of all the imaginable needs. Of course, you can plug the Arduino gadget into a computer via USB and enjoy full control via the Firmata protocol, for instance. What are the more lightweight solutions, if a laptop is too heavy, yet a pair of buttons not smart enough? In the range of smartphone to something calculator-like?

Sorry for being vague; it's a newbie question.


I doubt there are any standards for this. The reason is that 'hardware' solutions are very much more flexible than PC solutions (which by default have a keyboard, mouse and monitor) and not much more.

Hardware solutions on the other hand can have any kind of different displayed, touch screen, sensors of all kinds, leds/lights, hardware/mc controlled motors, relays, communication means etc.

The only user interface solutions are probably the libraries which can be used for some hardware, e.g. display driver drivers, led drivers, sensor libraries etc.

Especially to combine multiple hardware items (like on a PC the mouse, keyboard and monitor) gives a user interface 'experience'. Since hardware solutions have many more different hardware options, there is not a clear 'solution' for combining so many different hardware.

  • I'm not talking about "clear solutions", much less about standards as we know them. It's just if you're trying to design something microwave oven level you are likely to put more effort into its "numpad" then into everything else combined. There must be approaches, if not "standards", in the wild. – Alexey Orlov Jan 4 '18 at 10:26
  • I forgot microwave oven's display :) . – Alexey Orlov Jan 4 '18 at 10:33
  • I think it really depends on what you make... for an oven, probably the display is important, but also the buttons, and in which order the buttons behave. And if short/long/continous pushes are implemented. Or if there is some menu structure. E.g. some displays have also a cursor-like button pad integrated. There might be books about different approaches how to make a good user interface, but it's much less standardized than PC/software solutions. – Michel Keijzers Jan 4 '18 at 10:44

No, there are no "standards" nor "accepted solutions" for random devices. Your PC has a keyboard and mouse because that is what a PC is. Remove the keyboard and mouse and replace it with a touch screen and you have a tablet.

The device defines the interface. When you are designing a new device you design the interface. If the device performs the same function (or very similar) to some other device it makes sense, during your research, to investigate the interfaces that the other devices use and find what works and what doesn't, and design your interface accordingly.

If your device requires a lot of data to be entered manually then some form of keyboard that allows that data entry would be appropriate - be that a full QWERTY keyboard, or a simple numeric keypad.

Maybe a touch-screen would be a more appropriate way of controlling your device if you are mainly selecting between pre-defined options and settings.

What kind of a display you want to use depends very much on what it is you want to display. For just numeric information you could use 7 segment LED displays. Maybe an LCD display would be better if you want small amounts of textual information. Or just simple status indicators (LEDs).

The point is: the interface is dictated by what you need to interface and how you need to interface it, not some ephemeral idea of a standard. Your device is unique (or you're infringing some patent these days ;) ) so your interface will be dictated by that uniqueness.

  • Dis you say touchscreen? There are sensors designed to sit on I2C bus. Is there something among them suitable for touching? – Alexey Orlov Jan 4 '18 at 13:29
  • Yes. There are TFT screens with both resistive and capacitative touch screens as well as capacitative touch and gesture sensors. – Majenko Jan 4 '18 at 13:40
  • There are also encoders. They are a viable alternative to a simple keypad, which I learned elsewhere :) . – Alexey Orlov Jan 5 '18 at 8:13

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