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Over the past years, a trend in car design has emerged where car designers have been ‘decluttering’ car interiors. They are removing physical controls in favor of touch screens. The main reasons for this are the cleaner looks and cost-saving.

However, when car companies do this, they fail to take full advantage of touch screens. Instead, their approach has largely been to copy tablet interfaces, and directly convert physical buttons into touch buttons. As a result, touch interfaces in cars are difficult to use.


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Last month, Porsche unveiled the Taycan. It is the first electric car from an established car company with specs that challenge Tesla’s models. It comes loaded with new technology, there are screens all over the interior. Let’s have a closer look at the interior and see how it is designed. Generally speaking, car manufacturers have really struggled to design a user experience that is on par with the technology products that we are used to. Have Porsche figured it out with the Taycan?


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Since the arrival of the first iPhone, designers at car companies have tried to copy its minimalist look and interface in the interiors of cars. With every new generation, more physical buttons and knobs get ditched in favor of giant touch screens. But while iOS is specially designed for scenarios where people use smartphones, the touch screens in cars just seem to copy the design instead of appropriating it to driving scenarios. This makes these touch screens too complex to operate while driving. As a result, distraction-related accidents are increasing every year.

So I asked myself the question: is it possible to create a modern interaction model that allows the flexibility of touch screens but does not cause driver distraction? …


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Have you ever wondered why car companies release new models so often? In a time when we are destroying our own planet with our consumerism, and new cars are more expensive than ever before, is it really necessary to buy a new car every couple of years or do car companies make us believe that?

The average car consists of around 30,000 parts. They are built up from many different resources that come from all over the world. These resources have to be mined and turned into raw materials. …


The year is 1955. It is the first day of the Paris Motor Show. Citroën pulls the blankets off of what will turn out to be one of the most iconic cars in history, the DS. The innovative engineering mixed with its futuristic design exactly caught the mood of the time. At the end of the first day of the show, Citroën receives 12,000 orders for the car. A record that stood for more than 50 years, until the Tesla Model 3.

The Citroën DS was designed by Flavio Bertoni who, together with aviation engineer André Lèfebvre, created some of the most influential Citroën models. …


I recently came back to the Netherlands after living abroad for a year. Upon my return, I was confronted with the NS ticket machine again. Generally, the digital products of NS look great, but the ticket machines at the railway station are a big exception. For me as an experienced user, they work fine, but the problem is that I don’t like using them. The interface is very utilitarian and looks outdated. Also, now that I am living in a touristic area, I often see people struggle with it. …


This is a concept design for a digital instrument cluster of an electric car. The focus of the design is on different driving modes that filter the information according to the driving scenario.

Concept Explanation

The design of the instrument cluster changes depending on three modes: highway, city and stationary. The highway and city modes are engaged automatically by the system. The stationary mode is engaged when the car is in park or neutral.

Structure

The UI consists of 3 different bars and 3 ‘information panels’. The top bar (1) shows easy-to-interpret ‘long-term’ information such as time, weather and estimated time of arrival (ETA).
The two sidebars (2, 3) show the dashboard icons and notifications from the user’s phone respectively. …

About

Casper Kessels

Interaction Designer — writer at theturnsignalblog.com

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