The bigger the screen, the bigger the playing field for UX designers
October 4, 2022 17:34
To Sebastian Bell
As touchscreens increasingly dominate modern automobile interiors, resistance has begun among designers. That said, Klaus Frenzel, director of user experience (UX) design at Mercedes, still thinks a big screen is the right move for the industry.
It’s no surprise that Mercedes, the maker of wide-dash hyperscreens, is a proponent of touchscreens. explained.
“The screen is like a playing field, the bigger the screen, the more you can do. The visual part isn’t everything, the rest is off screen,” said Frenzel. increase. “It’s the combination that makes the difference.”
Also read: DS design chief thinks covering the dash with a screen is ‘a little silly’
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But size isn’t the only thing that matters, he explains. Instead, automakers must consider soundscapes, voice interactions, and more, all coming together to deliver a superior product to consumers.
“You can’t get the experience just from the big screen,” says Frenzel. “If you watch a movie without sound, the screen is the same but suddenly the movie dies. Everything comes together to give you a holistic experience.”
It can be very difficult to do. The UX team should be in constant contact with his UI team to ensure the screen is fully functional. The Hyperscreen, in particular, reflects the design of the grille of the Mercedes EQ car, so a conversation with the designer is also necessary.
Second, the UX designer should consider the usability of the system. According to Frenzel, teams that have been working on systems for a long time often assume their systems are intuitive, when in fact they are just getting used to it.
“It can be dangerous within the company when developing these things because the staff may think that all the customers will understand because they’ve been working on it for years. I can’t imagine anyone without it,” he said. “But if you fly to another city and hop in a rental car, you should be able to start the car in 20 seconds and know how to interact with the most important use cases.”
But he concedes that for designers, the idea of overusing touchscreen infotainment is an impossibility. From a safety point of view, it doesn’t really apply, so it’s important to strike the right balance.