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GUI Input Devices Transportation

A New Car UI 237

Posted by Soulskill
from the eyes-on-the-road dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As our cars have become more complex, so have the user interfaces with which we control them. Using the current crop of infotainment systems embedded in a car's dash is byzantine and frustrating. UI designer Matthaeus Krenn has put up a post demonstrating his efforts to reinvent in-car UIs in a way that doesn't force people to squint at tiny buttons, instead leaving more of their attention for the road. It's based on using a touch-screen display that realigns the interface to wherever you put your fingers down. It also reacts differently depending on how many fingers you use to touch the screen."

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A New Car UI

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  • UI Designers Suck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anrego (830717) * on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @07:44PM (#46281041)

    Seriously, any time a "UI designer" sits down to re-invent something, the result is inevitably terrible. They focus on whatever new-age idea they have is, and often completely miss the core problem while coming up with some genius solution to a minor one.

    My uneducated and rather simple view of how to do it:
    - Physical buttons for the stuff you might/can safely touch while driving (basic stereo controls, temperature controls, wiper settings, etc)
    - Knobs with fixed ranges for things like temperature (so you can set them without looking). Stuff like volume can be infinite as adjustments are immediately noticeable while adjusting.
    - Displays that you can quickly glance at, preferably without having to look down too much (I’m a huge fan of the multi-level dash Honda put in their civic).
    - Stuff you will be adjusting while stopped or maybe at a red light can be whatever you want.. fancy touchscreen, display in a weird spot, who cares.

    Much as I don’t normally lean in the nancy-state direction, I actually wish these complex touchscreen interfaces were disabled while driving. It just seems like a ridiculous safety concern (and yes I know the passenger could adjust it while you safely drive). Honestly I don’t care if someone is playing with one and smashes themselves into a highway divider, but I don’t want someone smashing into _me_ because they are trying to figure out why their cloud streaming music feed dealie isn’t working.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      - Physical buttons for the stuff you might/can safely touch while driving (basic stereo controls, temperature controls, wiper settings, etc)

      Light dip, ride height, traction control, speed warning...

      The best thing a car can do is just handle stuff for you. Of course, then it tends to become failure-prone, like the AC in my A8 which is blowing almost-cold from the center and blowing burning hot from the sides when I ask for AC.

      • by ackthpt (218170) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @08:06PM (#46281251) Homepage Journal

        I found a car radio in the desert a couple months back.

        It has Mechanical Push Buttons for tuning!!! I am not making this up!

        You turn a knob to turn on the power and adjust volume. Another one moves a mechanical red needle across a screen to show approximate frequency you are tuning into. And the most stunning thing is this - When it does not have a high quality signal it still plays, albeit with a modicum of static!

        Astounding. Such a futuristic device must have fallen out of a UFO, from an interstellar civilization years beyond our comprehension.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          It has Mechanical Push Buttons for tuning!!! I am not making this up!

          Yes, I remember those. They broke, too. The best media player has no moving parts. Indeed, in my F250 I yoinked the stereo and slapped a CB in the hole, and I replaced the stereo with a $20 2 in/4 out amplifier to which I connect my cellphone. No more problems.

        • And the most stunning thing is this - When it does not have a high quality signal it still plays, albeit with a modicum of static!

          Static?! Unacceptable, sir. This is 2014!! Everything must play in crystal-clear digital HD* sound quality 100% of the time**, or I just won't have it!! Inferior 20th century technology is beneath me.

          * (decoded and re-encoded multiple times at 96kb/s with a bad codec)

          **(that it will actually play, the 50% of the time the signal fades notwithstanding)

        • by Zynder (2773551)
          Technology of that caliber must be impressive when you're riding through the desert on a horse with no name.

          Those radios are and were garbage. I throw every single one of them I can find in the scrap heap. Even ones from classic cars. I can get a replica that looks nostalgic but still has modern amenities like digital tuning, memory, etc. I also throw their piece of shit carburetors away too, just so you know.

          I know, I know- I'd get off your lawn but you live in a desert, so I'll move off of your
      • Sounds like you have a leak in your vacuum line and the air valves aren't fully closing.
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      If a committee is formed to establish a standard it could take years, possibly decades. Then there will be lawsuits and appeals, because some industry group feels left out or will be economically harmed by a change in demands for parts & services.

      • On the plus side, once the standard is set it will be considered obsolete, ignored and added to the pile of already existing standards. And then we can start all over again! Thus ensuring that UI designers (and lawyers) never want for business!

        I mean, seriously; can you imagine the damage it would do to our civilization of the people behind some of the worst UI catastrophes (car UIs, Windows 8, Slashdot beta) had to go out and get real jobs?

        • by ackthpt (218170)

          On the plus side, once the standard is set it will be considered obsolete, ignored and added to the pile of already existing standards. And then we can start all over again! Thus ensuring that UI designers (and lawyers) never want for business!

          I mean, seriously; can you imagine the damage it would do to our civilization of the people behind some of the worst UI catastrophes (car UIs, Windows 8, Slashdot beta) had to go out and get real jobs?

          Quelle horreur!

          We must endeavour to keep these people employed at all expense!

    • Re:UI Designers Suck (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mjwx (966435) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @08:36PM (#46281507)

      Seriously, any time a "UI designer" sits down to re-invent something, the result is inevitably terrible. They focus on whatever new-age idea they have is, and often completely miss the core problem while coming up with some genius solution to a minor one.

      This, if you want to make driving a car less complex, make them simpler. Take away the toys that only serve as distractions.

      My uneducated and rather simple view of how to do it:
      - Physical buttons for the stuff you might/can safely touch while driving (basic stereo controls, temperature controls, wiper settings, etc)
      - Knobs with fixed ranges for things like temperature (so you can set them without looking). Stuff like volume can be infinite as adjustments are immediately noticeable while adjusting.
      - Displays that you can quickly glance at, preferably without having to look down too much (I’m a huge fan of the multi-level dash Honda put in their civic).
      - Stuff you will be adjusting while stopped or maybe at a red light can be whatever you want.. fancy touchscreen, display in a weird spot, who cares.

      Physical buttons and knobs are controls you can use without looking at them. You only need to memorise their locations (should only take 5 or so minutes) and once you've done that you never need to look at them again.

      A big problem today are the sheer number of "drivers aids" that add beeps, buzzers, warbles and lights that only serve to distract the driver. I took a new VW Golf out for a test drive, for almost the entire time I was beeing beeped at by something. The blindspot check when I'm not changing lanes, the lane assist on a single lane divided road (it didn't work) and others. I know how to drive, I know how to keep a safe distance, how to check my mirrors and blind spots before turning/changing lanes and I know how to stay in my lane. For someone who doesn't know how to do these things, a buzzer wont help them as they'll just ignore it (as they ignore everything else on the road) and keep driving dangerously.

      Needless to say, I bought an old Honda rather than buying a new Golf, better performance out of a K20, less likely to break.

      • Physical buttons and knobs are controls you can use without looking at them. You only need to memorise their locations (should only take 5 or so minutes) and once you've done that you never need to look at them again.

        I'm also a big proponent of physical buttons, but this guy's idea might actually be better - you don't even need to know where the buttons are. The specifics need a little refinement IMO, but this is the first car touchscreen interface idea I've seen that is acceptable to me.

        • by mjwx (966435) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @11:03PM (#46282409)

          Physical buttons and knobs are controls you can use without looking at them. You only need to memorise their locations (should only take 5 or so minutes) and once you've done that you never need to look at them again.

          I'm also a big proponent of physical buttons, but this guy's idea might actually be better - you don't even need to know where the buttons are. The specifics need a little refinement IMO, but this is the first car touchscreen interface idea I've seen that is acceptable to me.

          OK, I just read the guy's website and he's got no clue.

          Multi-touch gestures to replace dials and buttons, context sensitive, requiring the driver to memorise the gestures. What is this guy thinking?

          This is a huge leap backwards for car stereo interfaces. The submitter and author clearly doesn't drive a car because making accurate gestures in the console from behind a wheel is not easy. In order to make any changes the driver will need to stop the car or the gestures will be all over the place as well as taking the drivers focus off of driving.

          What we need to do is get rid of the touchscren fad in cars, not to make it worse. The articles author complains about other touch screen interfaces whilst completely ignoring that his own has the same fundamental problems plus some that existing interfaces don't have.

    • I entered a writing contest, won a multi-thousand dollar prize, from an unspecified automaker who wanted to re-imagine the automotive user interface.

      I just rambled a bit about putting a "real" PC in to have enough oomph to do things like run open CV, track gaze following on the occupants (especially driver) etc. Apparently it was what they were looking for.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      I guess I have to agree with that, but in the case of navigation, I usually have a passenger who can do all the navigation, and it irritates me that the console won't let *her* look up addresses or find the nearest gas station while *I* have my eyes on the road. It would be nice if the product didn't treat me like a moron.

  • Not a car UI (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sunderland56 (621843) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @07:46PM (#46281045)

    This is not a car UI. It is a UI for the car's entertainment system.

    The car's UI is still a steering wheel and throttle/brake pedals.

    • Re:Not a car UI (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PPH (736903) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @07:52PM (#46281105)

      Don't forget the clutch pedal.

    • Re:Not a car UI (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ackthpt (218170) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @07:56PM (#46281139) Homepage Journal

      &
      Odometer
      Speedometer
      Gas Gauge
      Battery Gauge
      Engine RPM (Tachometer)
      Temperature
      Bulbs Out
      Low Oil
      Fuel Economy
      Etc.

      • by number17 (952777)
        Can't say I use your list while im driving. Do you have a really really old car? Or perhaps a Ford or GM? Here is how i organize it.

        Use all the time

        Speedometer
        Gas Gauge

        Use when starting the car or when there is a problem.

        Odometer
        Battery Gauge
        Engine RPM (Tachometer)
        Temperature
        Bulbs Out
        Low Oil
        Fuel Economy
        Etc.

        • If you're not using the latter list while you're driving, how do you know the car is having a problem before it's too late? Do you drive until the engine seizes up and *then* look at your temperature gauge?
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            If you're not using the latter list while you're driving, how do you know the car is having a problem before it's too late? Do you drive until the engine seizes up and *then* look at your temperature gauge?

            My car is from 1997 and it will tell me if the car is overheating, in so many words.

            Actually, I had a car from 1980 that would tell me what was wrong with the car with colorful icons on a color dot matrix display. This car does that too, but I get both a pictograph and a text message if the situation is sufficiently dire.

            Most cars also have an idiot light for each major system, to tell you if the reading is out of spec. You don't really need to watch the gauges.

            I drive old cars and work on them, so I watch

      • by Darinbob (1142669) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @11:02PM (#46282401)

        Ejector seat button...

    • by mjwx (966435)

      This is not a car UI. It is a UI for the car's entertainment system.

      The car's UI is still a steering wheel and throttle/brake pedals.

      And clutch, indicator stalk, light stalk/knob, wiper knob, mirrors, instrument cluster...

      Driving a car is never as simple as people think, this is why we have such shocking drivers.

  • Design a big, friendly, easy to use, uncluttered interface.

    • by Zynder (2773551)
      As long as it has that long flippy spinner mirror thing that clacks when you smack it I'm there dude!
  • Dumb (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <(ten.3dlrow) (ta) (ojom)> on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @07:47PM (#46281069) Homepage

    The reason current car controls work so well is that you don't have to look at them. You build up muscle memory and can simply reach out and adjust the volume or switch to a different radio station. A touch screen you have to look at is a massive downgrade and far more dangerous.

    • by jrumney (197329)

      A touch screen you have to look at is a massive downgrade and far more dangerous.

      The point of this is that you don't need to look at it.

      • by hawguy (1600213)

        A touch screen you have to look at is a massive downgrade and far more dangerous.

        The point of this is that you don't need to look at it.

        How do you adjust the temperature without looking at the screen to see where it is now, and where you want it to go? How do you change the air direction from front defroster to foot vents without looking at the screen?

        For something with immediate feedback like radio volume, this would work well, but maybe other things require some feedback -- a physical knob can give you immediate feedback through its position. In my car, I know that when the temperature control knob is straight up and down that it's in th

        • by jrumney (197329)

          How do you adjust the temperature without looking at the screen to see where it is now, and where you want it to go? How do you change the air direction from front defroster to foot vents without looking at the screen?

          Audio or haptic feedback. The same as you do when you use a knob without looking.

          However, in the other car, for some reason the designers chose to use a physical knob with a lighted dot [images-amazon.com] to show where the knob is pointed, so you still have to look at it to see what setting

          • by hawguy (1600213)

            How do you adjust the temperature without looking at the screen to see where it is now, and where you want it to go? How do you change the air direction from front defroster to foot vents without looking at the screen?

            Audio or haptic feedback. The same as you do when you use a knob without looking.

            However, in the other car, for some reason the designers chose to use a physical knob with a lighted dot [images-amazon.com] to show where the knob is pointed, so you still have to look at it to see what setting it's on.

            Why do you care what setting it is on? Either you want it cooler or warmer, and you turn the knob in the appropriate direction by about how much you think you need to. Swiping gestures are no different in this respect.

            I care because when my wife in the backseat says she's cold, as soon as I touch the knob I know that it's turned up 3/4 of the way and if I make it any warmer, the car is going to be too warm. I don't want to touch the touch screen, wait for the computer to say "Currently set to 78 degrees" before making the gesture. With a knob I can determine the current setting and adjust it before the computer could even say "Currently".

        • by freeze128 (544774)
          Why does it need to be a screen? How about a multi-touch surface that does not display anything. You could use beeps or voice synth for telling the driver what mode you're in, and what you're changing the setting to.

          In fact, take it one step further and don't even have a surface to touch. Just install a kinect or leap motion interface. That should do it, and would require minimal redesign.
      • by khasim (1285)

        The point of this is that you don't need to look at it.

        Watch the video. You do need to look at it.

        Essentially, it is attempting to replace analog controls with virtual controls and it gets them wrong. With analog controls you can have force-feedback to let you know when you've clicked over to a new setting.

        With this, you have to look.

        Not to mention that their example iPad is larger than all of the entertainment/environmental controls already in my car. I'm not willing to give up that much real estate. And I

        • by Zynder (2773551)
          I totally agree with you but that last part boggled my mind for a sec:

          larger than all of the entertainment/environmental controls already in my car. I'm not willing to give up that much real estate

          What the hell else would you use that dash space for? Just the sheer clean blankness of it all?

      • The point of this is that you don't need to look at it.

        you also don't need to look at a knob, so what problem are we fixing? the car industry's need to gouge me for the latest in automotive technology?

  • Whenever I hear the term "muscle memory" it reminds me of learning to play a musical instrument

    That thing looks as baffling and intimidating as a saxophone to a new user

    Sure..once you learn it, it might be cool, but how many people have the physical talent and time to learn it

    I tried for years to learn piano, practiced a lot, and just never could get it

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      Whenever I hear the term "muscle memory" it reminds me of learning to play a musical instrument

      That thing looks as baffling and intimidating as a saxophone to a new user

      Sure..once you learn it, it might be cool, but how many people have the physical talent and time to learn it

      I tried for years to learn piano, practiced a lot, and just never could get it

      Awright, Mac, why is it the fault of your car that you ran the light?

      It distracted me when it went blank and started installing an update, then told me to flip the turn signal both ways and hit the horn once to reboot.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Ha, saxophone is simple, try a bassoon with many more keys to twiddle (geekiest of all musical instruments). Or maybe oboe which has a similar key structure as sax except that you have to tighten all the muscles in your face, chest, and abdomen without farting.

      • by Zynder (2773551)

        tighten all the muscles in your face, chest, and abdomen without farting

        ROFLMAO! The hazards a band geek has to watch out for! Just for future reference when you get to my age, NEVER TRUST A FART!

  • The thing about real knobs is that they are all directly available at any time and they don't change their location and meaning. Like most virtual knobs in "touch" interfaces do (depending on screen/context).
    If you want to do that with a touch screen (i.e. have fixed position / meaning knobs), then you'll realize you could as well implement it with hardware knobs, as the touch screen is as useful an ashtray on a motorcycle.

    In addition to all this, a traditional knob can be used with wet / gloved hands too
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      Knobs?

      Such finesse controls are for luddites.

      You'll take a screen, which you have to pound your fist against to get it to work properly, and like it!

  • (there's a subject that wrote itself).

    I don't like the interface for a number of reasons, but a big one is that eight separate controls is not very many at all. In that same giant space you could have put in eight physical sliders and had exactly the same benefits!

    But also I do not like the design, because I don't think it does something they promise it can do - keep your eyes off the screen. For less commonly used commands I'd always be forgetting how many figures to use, or if it was pinching style or s

  • Lets list the controls are used quite regularly
    volume
    source
    tuning
    playlist
    preset selection
    temperature
    vent distribution
    AC
    fan speed
    re circulation
    window defrost
    rear wipers/washer
    That's 13. Add in phone and/or gps interface and you get even more.
    Then there is the issue of remembering what gesture means what and the difficulty of gestures when wearing gloves.

    The idea needs work
    (BTW, anyone notice the reference to the very old sitcom?)

    • by nschubach (922175)
      you forgot heated/cooled seats, sunroof, windows, seat position...
    • BTW, anyone notice the reference to the very old sitcom?

      It seems we both had a great idea about the same time.

      But, I think you should have spelled out eight to make the reference closer.

      I admire the list you put together, I was going to do the same list but just didn't have the motivation to list it all out.

  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @08:01PM (#46281201) Journal

    One thing Windows 8, newer google maps with chrome, newer YouTube, office 2013, gnome 3, and some will say Windows 7, is change is almost universally bad!

    If it ain't broke don't fix it!

    Art professors have no business mucketing around with design. I hate the new touch, little to no color, All CAPS, flat, one criteria based (only consumption, or road focused), and no detail to anything else

    • One thing Windows 8, newer google maps with chrome, newer YouTube, office 2013, gnome 3, and some will say Windows 7, is change is almost universally bad!

      If it ain't broke don't fix it!

      You forgot Slashdot,

  • Please tell me the browser cache is screwing with me. Please tell me that my wife wants to have sex more often ( ok that isn't going to happen, I have a 12 and 15 year old) Do we really have Slashdot.org back?
  • This [postimg.org].
    • by Zynder (2773551)
      Goddammit! That was probably a fucking nipple. The work firewall just bitched at me! Great, now I have to go tell Sarge I was not surfing porn....again....
      • lol, it's a display with a big red button on the dash.

        • by Zynder (2773551)
          Whew. I see that now that I'm home. The Chair Force seems to think that was "possibly adult content"
          • You have a golden opportunity here if it ever comes up. You can ask if it would have made the car more or less like porn if it was wearing more clothes.

        • lol, it's a display with a big red button on the dash.

          lol indeed, but that's no button. It's a HAL9000.

  • Touch Screen (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GrahamCox (741991) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @08:20PM (#46281377) Homepage
    Touch screens. There's your problem. They are a very poor choice for an interface in an environment where you can't devote 100% of your eyesight to it.

    Auto makers seem to make a virtue out of having touch screens for everything a the moment just for the sake of using a touch screen, whereas what they should be doing is using the most appropriate interface to promote safety and clarity. To my mind that's distinct, physical buttons without too much function overloading. In other words, exactly what we had until the 90s.
    • Exactly! I hope he patents this obvious design so others can't use it.

      Nothing beats real world radio buttons, knobs, push knobs, sliders, buttons... especially the ones with tactile feedback. Think of keyboards...

      This has nothing to do with "get off my lawn" syndrome. The old way is sometimes the better way. I would think techies would be less impressed by new tech; therefore, they could be more level headed about adopting it. But it seems that it splits when they get "over the hill" in their 30s; which

    • by asmkm22 (1902712)

      Agreed. When people are changing stations, or skipping ahead on their CD/MP3/whatever player, or even changing the volume, they aren't doing it based on anything visual. There's maybe a moment where they align their hand to the right control, but otherwise it's all handled using good old physical muscle memory and physical stimuli. With a touchscreen control you're hindering the former and definitely killing the later.

  • The UI absolutely MUST refresh/respond/update quickly - in fact, instantly. No matter what.

    Driver takes eyes off the road to find soft-button on touchscreen.
    Driver looks back at the road and continues driving.
    Cheapo CPU takes 1-10 seconds to register the touch event, process, and update the screen. Possibly longer if device is running "value add" software (adware from manufacturers trying to sell software-as-a-service, (like OnStar or other bullshit) on the car), possibly longer if request relies on data t

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I used to hate interfaces designed by programmers and engineer. Oh how I once thought that they should let designers design the interfaces. Then, we handed the interface design to 'uix' "experts" and now we have the same level of incomprehensible bullshit. It just looks prettier.

    • Yep! Everyone thinks they can just get rid of the Engineers. The PHBs, the bean counters, marketdroids and the like all think we are just sucking up company resources for no useful reason whatsoever. Never mind we're probably making the product you sell. Suddenly though we're the greatest thing EVAR when shit breaks. Funny how they forget that 20 minutes later when we ask for a new soldering iron or multimeter. We'll still bail your stupid asses out though because that's how we roll!
  • I want a car (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @08:35PM (#46281497) Homepage Journal

    Not a digital entertainment center on wheels.

    Does anyone sell a *real* car now?

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Finally, a brave person to step up and let us know what a real car is. Thanks you brave sir, thank you for shooting off your mouth with inanities. Without people like you we would be hipster free. Won't anyone think of the hipsters?

      You closed minded git.

      • by nurb432 (527695)

        Id rather be closed minded then having my brains falling out, which apparently yours have already done so. You wouldn't recognize a real car even if it ran over you.

        What passes for a car today, is not.

  • If it's no tactile (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @08:50PM (#46281601) Homepage Journal

    people will have to look at it.
    Touch UI for cars is a bad idea. Dangerous, and will break cross model and manufacture consistency.

  • in a car, while driving... touch screen bad, buttons good. Having to look at the screen to see what your doing, while driving, bad. having tactile feedback, good. New isn't always better.

    Good example: Ford's implementation of MyTouch has the more complex controls on the touch screen; but, still implements knobs and buttons for the basic entertainment system and climate controls. They did the right thing here.

    Bad Example: Ford implemented PowerShift manual mode by putting a rocker switch on the si

  • This is ridiculous! You mean now I have to learn and think about how many fingers do I use to control control X and do they need to be far apart or not?!?

    It's simple, just make the current buttons bigger for the kinds of adjustments you are likely to make when driving. All too often toggles and play/pause, etc are small buttons to look appealing instead of large buttons because they are likely to be used frequently. Usage of screen real estate often sucks big time. For example, in my car, when the bluetooth

  • True story from a friend who worked in a airplane company. They were designing the UI for a helicopter. The first mock-up was by a bunch of nerdy engineers, who designed a matrix of 64 buttons, arranged in a 8 x 8 matrix, each with a word printed on it and lit from below. The called the test pilot. He took one look at it, then got up wordlessly and rummaged around the conference room till he found a some stiff card board (a three ring binder or a clip board). In all seriousness he said, "cut this cardboard
  • by DarwinSurvivor (1752106) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @09:28PM (#46281879)
    If a standard touch interface (like those shown at the beginning of the video) only had 8 controls, they'd be easy to use without looking as well. This is just another flashing interface that works great for a small number of controls but quickly degenerates into chaos when you try to control the number of systems and settings a REAL car interface has to deal with.
  • by 0101000001001010 (466440) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @09:44PM (#46281981)

    A car UI should be usable without looking at it. That's why physical buttons and dials of different sizes and shapes with satisfying tactile feedback are the gold standard. Touchscreens should be limited to interaction while parked, such as setting up your sat nav.

  • Honestly this is a major fail waiting to happen. their examples all require you to look at it. Give me a UI that does not need any attention at all or better yet zero eye use.

    Oh right, that's a volume KNOB. They work 800X better than even hardware buttons.

    Want a decent Car UI? VOICE CONTROL. make it reliable and make it work. a single button on the steering wheel for me to hit, the stereo drops in volume by 80 db and I get a boop tone. I say what I want and it does it. Volume control are the othe

    • So how does it feel to be on APK's shit list? Lol, haven't seen him trolling about in many a day, it's kind of refreshing.

    • And now car manufactures have to put in the manual that their car is not intended to be driven by people with funny accents. And driving with children in the car that may start crying will make the vehicle uncontrollable?

      It's ironic that you named your message "Epic Fail."

  • I was just looking at the latest Civic, which has a touchscreen in the middle of the dash. It looked OK, until I thought... 'hang on, how am I supposed to use that while wearing gloves when it's forty below zero?'

    They're an insanely retarded idea for automotive use.

  • An interface that requires the driver to take their eyes off the road has already failed. What's wrong with actual buttons and knobs?

  • touch screens are new enough that most people haven't realized that they're a terrible interface.
  • by ChunderDownunder (709234) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @02:44AM (#46283391)

    You're still diverting a hand away from the steering wheel and your gaze off the road in order to perform a sequence of gestures.

    Do these designers take into account user interfaces from the point of least likely to cause an accident by a distracted driver?

  • Any UI for incar usage which requires you to touch the screen during driving is a bad UI, because you shouldn't be touching the screen at all while driving.. So any designer coming up with stuff like that is a bad designer from the start and doesn't have safety in mind.. Any important function needed during driving should be as a button or lever connected to the steering wheel so you would never have to take your hands of it..
  • FTFA :-

    "create innovative software experiences for these new input mechanisms"

    "controls for air condition and infotainment"

    "big, forgiving gestures that can be performed anywhere. ... the interface leverages the driver’s muscle memory"

    What a load of BS. Why do I need an "innovative software experience" when I am driving FFS? The very glossiness of his web page shows him up as a salesman. FAIL

    A screen is essentially for looking at. You should not be looking at a screen while drivin
  • I don't want to hear a station, I want to here a genre of station or a sports event or a specific artist or song - regardless of frequency or media.
    I don't want to adjust the volume, I want the volume to adjust to a) number of people in the vehicle adjusting for people in the back seat, b) conversation in the vehicle, c) ambient road noise d) my 'usual' volume levels
    I don't want to adjust the temperature, I want the vehicle to defog the windscreen and keep the car at a reasonable temperature. I want it to
  • by Toshito (452851) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @08:16AM (#46284747)

    Like the new Lincoln MKZ with TOUCH controls for volume and temperature, on a smooth surface, without any tactile reference. Bravo!

    I even have the push buttons and rotary controls for the heater, it used to be that you could control everything with 2 slides, one for temp and one to choose where to send the air.

    It was very easy to know, only by touch, where the slides are. With a rotary button, you have to look at it to see where it is pointing. And the push buttons are also much less convenient, if I have to put the control on front defrost quickly (because the windshield is suddenly fogging) with the old controls I only had to slide it all the way to the right.

    Now I have to find the front defrost button wich is the second to the right, flush with all the other buttons.

    Even in car manuals of the 70's and 80's it was stated that if you want to defog or defrost the car in an emergency you just put the 2 slides to the right or to the top (depending on the orientation of the controls) without thinking, it will automatically put the heater to front defrost and maximum heat.

    It's the same problem with almost every interface today, from electronics (think about how easy and fast it was to change the volume or choose the input on a 70's Receiver, with it's big buttons compared to receivers of today with it's tiny buttons and display you have to look at)

    Don't get me started on volume and mute controls. Why don't laptops get a physical cut off switch as a mute button? When I power up my laptop in a library or at school I have to remember if I put it on mute the last time, and if not I need to wait for the mute button to become responsive but since it's controlled by software and a certain driver, it becomes usable right after Windows decide to play it's login sound. Very annoying. How much would it cost to put a physical switch to cut out the electrical signal to the speakers???

    I think we're moving backward with UI, today look ingenuity and trend is more important than usability.

    Now get off my lawn!

"Love your country but never trust its government." -- from a hand-painted road sign in central Pennsylvania

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