UCD Charette

The Process

For this charette, our goal was to design a car’s interface to better suit a specific user. To start with, we chose an easily distracted person as our user, and came up with a few activities that we could address to tailor the design to. As a way to depict our design, we picked going to a restaurant as our scenario, with a spontaneous stop at a CD store on the way.

Our solution was a very simple, bare screen with the basic buttons and knobs to control the temperature. Most abilities to adjust the environment of the car, such as navigation and music, came from the steering wheel and voice control. By pressing the easily accessed buttons on the steering wheel, the voice controlled operator would be activated and ready to take a command. Without the need to look over at the interface to change a song or destination, there is less cause of the user getting distracted, and the user can focus on looking at the road and driving.


This activity brought the problem of weaving different members’ ideas into one cohesive thought. We had to address how to cooperate with each other and compromise what stylistic elements we included in the design. Since we all got along well and were able to blend our ideas easily, it made me wonder what it would have been like if we couldn’t combine our ideas smoothly.


Some personas were very eccentric, such as a duck, and I really enjoyed that because I hadn’t even considered that a user might not be human. There are so many ways to approach a problem, even one as simple as thinking of a user, so being able to see other people’s ideas was very interesting.


Everything has a user, and to make a product or service easiest to use is the goal of a design which is why this technique could be used anywhere and even now, in the present, not just the future. For example, classes at universities. Professors go through the course material and create plans for the class with the students in mind. At the end of the quarter, professors get direct feedback from students on what can be improved in the course, and what should stay the same. With that feedback, professors can adjust the course accordingly for the next quarter of students to better suit their needs.

Like what you read? Give Alex Lim a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.