DESIGN EXERCISE, MARCH 2018
In this design exercise, I chose to design an in-car interface for a self-driving car. I focused on doing a research of problems passengers might have, identifying motives and fears. Having those in mind, I crafted a basic look of Control Center, animated the screen-flow, and made an accessibility test of the interface.
Tasks & Problems
The subject in this case is a fully self-driving vehicle, in which touch interface plays a key role in crafting the overall experience for users. The passenger can use this interface to monitor the vehicle's statistics, adjust climate control, play music, engage route guidance, etc. It’s intended to be simple to use and understand, and since it will replace traditional hardware buttons, it should still feel tactile and straightforward to the user (think on/off buttons, sliders, etc). The interface should be intended to be broadly appealing and easy to use, not directed specifically towards any one demographic.
Sketch App, Abstract, Principle for Mac, Adobe Photoshop.
I usually start my process by identifying the basic goals, narrowing down main priorities of users, identifying fears, motives, and problems. Let's write those down:
Premise: Press a button, get to your destination. Fast. Safe. Comfortably.
Keep in mind:
Let’s look first what our riding experience in a taxi, Uber, or Lyft, and observe how we behave in different scenarios. People most likely to look at the driver’s face when they want to make sure that he or she is in total control, therefore they feel safe. It’s instinctive human behavior so it won’t disappear of this new technology, so I think it’s better to adapt to it. So with replacing the “face” of the driver with one landscape screen, we need to keep in mind that it will be the medium that you can check at any time in a very easy manner when needed.
Creating this medium must ensure that there’s mutual trust between two. So, creating an interface that is not overwhelming, simple and intuitive is a must, as well as the experience that can ensure that the rider is aware of the car experience and knows how the car functions (think “Boston Dynamic” robots are scary, vacuum cleaner – not).
First I started with having it in landscape (Mockup #1) as most likely users will be engaged in using the entertainment system (watching in landscape) during the ride, but I went to try the portrait layout (Mockup #2 ) as it’s more adaptable for streamlining more information (think about smartphones getting taller).
First explorations of the modular layout
Map View: Always display the route so riders can predict the car’s moves, navigation tools.
Car Status: Always (!) show where the car, show what it is doing at that exact moment, and what it sees around us. It has a schematic view of all the cars, bikes and pedestrians, which should be easily understandable.
Car Control: Display car control which is sorted by prioritizing the most used items and have Quick Controls tab for easily customizable controls.
Climate Control: Display controls for air-conditioning, heated seats, fan controls in an instant.
Entertainment: Display entertainment system and have quick access playing from different sources and quick and smart control of the most used control – volume.
Portrait mode explorations
Then I went with something riders are familiar and has the flow people know how to use (Tesla’s dashboard, Uber’s paradigms, and any of current ride-sharing best practices). Other things, I had in focus is to have a modular UI, that can always show where the car (Map View) and what is it doing in that exact moment (Car Status), car controls with quick controls (Car Control), air-conditioning/seats control/fans (Climate Control), entertainment system (Entertainment).
Early iterations of design
Keeping in mind that our first #1 premise is getting to from A to B in the easiest way, I thought to start from having a fullscreen welcome screen and after having a destination entered to get the rider moving and then show all the controls/entertainment panels. But quickly by doing more research on other scenarios, it wasn’t ideal. What if you get in the car and have to wait for a friend to join, but want to be safely locked in during the night on a busy street. You need to have the Car Controls panel accessible in one touch. All similar scenarios led me to have a multi-panel view.
A not ideal solution in my opinion, but something to get started from. Also having the modular system lets me to add quickly new panels or features. Keeping those things in my mind I went through several iterations till I ended up with something I was relatively satisfied.
Other things that noticeably evolved are:
Final Hi-Fi mockups
Color blindness test – Simulations of deuteranomaly, protanomaly, and tritanomaly (left to right)
All great comes and evolves through a vast amount of iterations and design cycles and user testing.
Some of the things I missed or felt rushed:
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