Of a similar vein, if you’re into these kinds of posts: http://worrydream.com/ABriefRantOnTheFutureOfInteractionDesign/. One of my favorite images shows how a tool fits a problem and a person.
Haven’t read the post yet, but that video he links at the start of the post is so uninspired and vaguely dystopian. I can sum it up as “let’s put screens everywhere and make sure people spend even more time staring at them!” This would fit well into a Black Mirror episode. But I guess this kind of video can be a useful study of what we don’t want to happen because it makes it so obvious.
EDIT: After reading the post, I noticed that it’s from 2011. It’s interesting that so far we’ve pretty much gone down the path shown in the video, rather than what Bret was suggesting.
I really hate this as well. I still drive a 5spd … in America. I feel like that’s becoming incredibly rare. There is something that feels really good about using every appendage, and driving being a fully engaging experience.
My favorite in-dash units are probably the Pioneers. They have decent navigation and they have the most useful functions (volume, switch track) as physical buttons. A friend of mine had a Cherokee and her stock in-dash unit was awful. There is no fucking reason air-con and the heated seats should be in a touch screen interface. Those should be physical buttons you can reach for without fumbling.
I also hate the Audi climate controls … buttons to move the temperate up and down?! .. and you have to look down to watch it? Compare that to the Subaru’s where is’a physical dial you can adjust super fast once you’re use to it.
AC seems like an application that would really benefit from always-listening voice control.
Instead of switching on and off with commands like “AC on” and “AC off”, it should be programmed to respond to either “fuck me it’s hot” or “aaaaa the day-star it burnsssss” to switch on and and “brrrrr” to deactivate.
It’s always a compromise. For a single function, a touchscreen is never as good as a dedicated hardware control. The touchscreen’s advantage is in its ability to represent different controls at different times. A lot of modern high tech devices combine physical controls with touchscreens in an attempt to balance functionality (doing one thing well) with flexibility (doing different things at different times). At one end of the scale, you have smartphones, where the need for versatility makes for heavy use of a touchscreen with only a few dedicated switches (volume, power, maybe camera). At the other end of the scale, in something like a car, functionality trumps flexibility, meaning at least the most important controls should have dedicated hardware.
In a slight reversal from a few years ago, when touchscreens were limited to high-end products, touchscreens can now be used to cut costs, either by replacing more costly dedicated controls, or by allowing a basic touchscreen terminal to be mass-produced then adapted for different products by running different software.
It’d also probably help if Tesla and other automakers designed their UIs to minimize this problem, perhaps by creating certain fixed buttons which don’t move in order to make critical functions always accessible. Better yet, they could allow the user to add their own shortcuts, if they really wanted to be fancy.
As an example of behaviour that goes against this, the Tesla v8 software introduces auto-hiding for the top applications/status bar - something which clearly prioritizes aesthetics (having slightly more space for a map) over functionality.
Uh, that Tesla screen. I got to see one in person, it looks even worse.
No idea what it’s like when driving, they declined my offer to swap for my ‘96 Toyota Hilux despite the Hilux’s clearly superior dashboard ergonomics.
I rented an Audi about a year ago and was pleased to see that they had assigned a button to almost every major funtion. Touchscreens suuuck.