The design of user interfaces and usage concepts for the vehicle differs considerably from the design for stationary or handheld devices in other contexts. In the automotive field, it is critical to define clear interfaces that are easy to understand and operate, in order to keep distraction of the driver at a minimum. Here, the usability, i.e. the actual degree to which a human-machine interface (HMI) works for a given task considering all relevant user-centric aspects, is of a prime importance.
The Automotive IUI group has long-standing experience in the design of such “usable” interfaces. In projects such as SIM-TD, in which comprehensive HMIs need to be designed, we apply standards such as the ADAS Code of Practice whenever possible to define the ideal values for elements such as icons, font sizes, colors etc. By conducting HMI user studies, developers and psychologists work together to test not only driving distraction, but also aspects such as efficiency and error-proneness of the UIs. They also evaluate the subjective usability / user satisfaction concerning the interface. Special experiments, e.g. icon tests, are performed to evaluate some concepts already during the design phase.