“UI design on a car dashboard – Tesla”


“UI design on a car dashboard – Tesla”

Tesla Touchscreen UI: Car-Dashboard User Interface

For those of us who learned to drive a few decades ago, driving a modern car is a completely different experience. The new cars come with rearview cameras, obstacle sensors, parking assist, lane-change assist, adaptive cruise control, autopilot driving, and a web browser. Many of these things should make driving a safer and more peaceful activity. And they do – but only if car designers understand the most basic fact of human vision: it is limited. And if they design these sophisticated car features, they will not just divert cognitive resources from the main task of becoming a driver.

Attention-seeking soft buttons

"UI design on a car dashboard - Tesla"

Tessa’s models have some physical controls – all on or very close to the steering wheel. Driving-related functions such as cruise control, autopilot, wipers, and lights are available through these controls. But most “secondary” features (including rearview cameras, cell phones, media players, and climate control) do not have specific physical controls. Instead, the main way to select them is with a 17 ”touchscreen display placed on the dashboard between the driver and passenger seats. Although it has a larger screen (three times the size of the iPad), it is not shown at all β€” so version 9 of Tesla’s operating system, which makes things more complicated, has some features in the expandable menus.

Although touchscreen dashboards offer more flexibility than actual dashboards, they have one major drawback: no haptic feedback. To touch these buttons reliably, people must see them.

When the soft buttons are hidden under the menus, selecting them involves multiple touch screen interactions and thus takes more time and attention. And, in the car, the time spent with the UI is the time spent ignoring the road.

Bad target design

Target placement negotiations can take a long time

The Fitz law states that the time it takes a finger to reach a target depends on the size of the target and the distance to the target. Therefore, controls placed away from the starting hand position take longer than controls placed closer.

In the given menu, frequently used options should be easily accessible. However, Tesla’s decisions regarding the order of controls in the menu are very skeptical. The first option is access to all the settings and customizations of the car – which is not often used while driving.

Target size

Another item on target is the target size: the larger the button, the faster it will reach. However, with version 9, Tesla decided to reduce its targets (in the menu bar – in version 8 – 7 more options can be set compared to 10 or 11 in version 9). This is a temptation that many mobile designers have succumbed to – but unfortunately, this does not lead to usable designs.

Accidental touch

Because the targets in the control panel are so close to each other, it is sometimes very easy to hit the wrong target. For example, in most cases, I warm up the seat when trying to change the temperature or press the climate mark. It is also easy to accidentally touch the seat icon while trying to access the latest app using the swipe up on the driver arrow icon (iOS-inspired gesture shortcut).

The map is always on the screen

The text on the car dashboard can be easily read in a variety of lighting conditions, allowing people to quickly retrieve and move needed information from the screen. Text that appears too short, with little contrast to a busy background or background usually does not meet these requirements.

However, Tesla’s Maps app is always displayed in the background of all apps. As a result, the status bar at the top of the screen becomes cluttered with text, making it difficult to read. Additionally, it can be quite irrelevant (and potentially distracting) like the screenshot below showing a darker colored road between two application windows. Additionally, the fact that no application can be brought to the top of the screen not only removes user control (and contrary to 10 usage expectations), but allows users to access smaller files. Must see part. , Very low info map. Understanding the information displayed can be challenging.

If you want to change lanes while driving a Tesla, you can use any of the following information sources:

The old-fashioned rearview mirror and turn your head left / right to check the availability of your side mirrors and lanes

β€’ Review camera (in previous versions of the Tesla OS, you could pin it to the main touchscreen.

The Lane-Assist feature on the secondary screen displays a red line when the turn signal is applied but the lane is unavailable.

Good features

As we mentioned above, many improvements can be made to Tesla’s UI. But a good design also has many elements.

"UI design on a car dashboard - Tesla"

1. Large screen is a plus: it provides the ability to view multiple application windows at once. Switching apps can be painful (including multiple taps and screen viewing), but the ability to view many of them at once (e.g., rearview camera and map or media player) makes things easier.

Driving requires individuals to access multiple sources of information (such as a map and a rearview camera simultaneously) and view all of those windows at the same time, which significantly reduces the user’s work-memory load. Does. Is. (Conversely, even on very large tablets, people rarely split the screen to show multiple windows at the same time, although this feature has been around for a while.

2. Maps app enhanced with Tesla-specific information:

For example, although the app is based on Google Maps, it has many options specific to Tesla owners:

a. The supercharger status is automatically displayed on the map

"UI design on a car dashboard - Tesla"

B. When navigating to the destination, the map shows how much charge is left in the battery by the time you reach the destination

C. The Navigation app allows users to get directions based on car-pool lane usage

3. The autopilot and self-navigation system detect the possibility of failure and drivers must keep their hands while the steering wheel is active.

4. Tesla is always connected to the Internet and can receive updates via broadcast. This feature can be found in both plus and minus. The good news is that bugs in cars can be fixed and the website will be launched from today as the colors change.

The end

Modern cars are powerful computers. They improve drivers’ cognitive and physical abilities with information gathered from various sensors; They can enhance the driving experience with very comfortable features. None of this will happen unless car designers focus on the design of computer interfaces for decades and follow the well-known principles of usability and human psychology.

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