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Designing the Driving Experience of Tomorrow

Written by: Karishma Kumar, Product Designer, TribalScale

Automotive UX is one of the most rapidly evolving and exciting user experience disciplines. It requires designers to shift their thinking from keeping users engaged to designing for safety.

As cars evolve, so do users’ needs regarding the driving experience. Nowadays, driving is more than just getting from point A to B; drivers want features that make their trip more enjoyable — especially in cities where they spend hours commuting morning and evening.

Accounting for the display interfaces

Dashboard interfaces are another emerging automotive industry trend in addition to electrification. Future automobile dashboards will feature more display space than ever before. But what are we going to do with this entire display area? More importantly, how can we make the most of this space?

New cars are coming with more screen real estate than ever before. Multi screen displays are trending now.

We designers often succumb to the excitement of having so much digital space and get carried away. There are numerous opportunities to display content and vehicle information on multiple screens.

The first obstacle that UX designers must overcome is the design mindset in itself. Traditional UX design looks for ways to keep users engaged, whereas automotive UX must achieve the opposite and keep drivers focused on the road.

In order to create a user-friendly in-car experience, it is not ideal to display as much information as possible or make it look as appealing as possible. Although drivers must be informed, it is our responsibility to ensure that they do not become overwhelmed while driving.

According to automotive UX designers, it’s all about balance — less can quite often be more.

Safety is paramount

When it comes to designing for drivers, safety is often a top priority. Vehicles should be designed with this primary goal in mind because a distracted driver can have life-or-death consequences for themselves and others, whether they are on the road or in the car.

Every automotive UX design decision is based on safety. The objective is to design interfaces and display data that a driver can consume in a single glance rather than capturing their attention for a period of time.

Each screen’s data should flow naturally from one to the next and complement each other. In addition to providing the driver with sufficient information in the instrument cluster to take action, this also gives the driver a more comprehensive view of the journey and the vehicle in the centre display.

Information zoning ensures that each screen serves a specific purpose and integrates with the entire arrangement of displays.

For the driver’s eyes, this way of organizing information creates a natural flow from the present to the future. As they shift their focus from the road to the HUD, dashboard, and centre display, the information presented changes to meet their requirements and expectations. When the display interface is designed as a complete ecosystem, drivers know where to look for information. Everything has a place, everything is in its place.

Designing an ecosystem

In cars with multiple touchscreens, front and back, UX designers must consider the user experience for each differently. Displaying information about the vehicle and the journey is important for drivers, but backseat passengers have different needs, like being entertained while they travel.

Because of these differences, design teams must decide which infotainment features passengers and drivers can use, which features are most important, and how they affect navigation and information architecture.

Innovative technologies, such as in-car infotainment systems, will unquestionably set the course for automobiles of the future. As car design converges with digital experience and continues to evolve to meet the needs of tomorrow’s drivers, it will be a priority to provide a smooth, safe, and enjoyable experience.

For more information about our Android Automotive capabilities, click here to speak with one of our experts.


Karishma is a Product Designer at TribalScale. She aims to enhance people’s lives via thoughtful design. When she is not obsessing over pixels, she spends time with her family doing just about anything from hiking to binging TV shows.

TribalScale is a global innovation firm that helps enterprises adapt and thrive in the digital era. We transform teams and processes, build best-in-class digital products, and create disruptive startups. Learn more about us on our website. Connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn & Facebook!



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