access-control-feature

As CatN continue on our journey towards ISO 27001 accreditation, part of the information security policy requires that we have an active and enforced security model in place at our office location.

Since introducing an access control system in June 2010, all employees have been required to tap in and out of the office using RFID technology, however the process for keeping track of guests coming in and out of the building has been very much a manual process.

access-control-book

As we are a company working in the technology industry, using a pen and paper solution seemed highly inadequate. Because of this I embarked on a week long mini solo project to design and build a touch screen terminal to interface with a pre-existing API written by Jonathon. This would allow us to keep track of visitors using the same system currently in use to manage employee access.

access-control-ideas-sketch

After discussing the requirements, I threw together some very quick sketches of immediate thoughts on how to achieve an end result in the time available and any features that should be considered. It was decided that the interface should be web based and include the following:

  • Instruction to inform visitors and delivery drivers how to use the reception desk phone.
  • A list of every person currently registered in the system.
  • Optimisation for a 1920×1080 touch screen display.
  • Filtering of registered users by initial, and potentially current status (Logged in / out).
  • Visual display of the current time (and date).
  • Functionality to register new users by storing their name, company and photo.
  • Interaction with the security camera in reception to take a profile photo.
  • Ability to sign users in and out using their assigned pin number if required.

access-control-login-sketch

Admittedly I do very little design work these days, leaving most of the pixel pushing to our in house designer Nick, so this project provided something a little different to normal day to day activities. With the time restrictions in place there was some pressure to complete the concept design in order to allow for the interface to be written and working by the end of the week.

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Shown here are the stages I went through turning the initial sketch into a finished concept design. Despite including a similar look and feel from the first idea to the final design, you probably agree that there was sufficient improvements made in the short period of time allocated to designing the interface – just a single day.

Design Idea One

Listing the users with the inclusion of small profile photos.

Design Idea Two

Removed the profile photos and added the footer bar.

Design Idea Three

Idea for including pagination and an A-Z list to filter users.

Design Idea Four

Brightened it up a little using a more colourful background.

Final Design

Additions include the display of the current date and options to filter by status.

In future, when visiting the CatN office you will be presented with the following display to guide you through the process of signing in an out of the office.

access-control-touch-screen

Steve Whiteley Head of Platform Services

Steve is Head of Platform Services at CatN, focussing mainly on the Control Panel and vCluster aspects of our hosting services. You can find him on Google Plus.