Unifying in-vehicle infotainment & navigation system interfaces
Our task for the project was to imbibe better interaction practices for the current GPS system. GPS systems have been able to simplify the problems of travelers in a bountiful way by which location is tracked and directed. Traveling is one of the fun activities of the modern world and the long distance travels are on the hobby list of many. Modern GPS adds up the value for such travels to people who visit places for the first time. The idea was to enhance the experience of GPS during long travels where the car driver need not look into the GPS for a long time such as in highways, low traffic zones and when one has a long straight road to drive. During such times, drivers generally end up switching on their car LCD for a short movie, putting up their phone for a call or putting on their car music systems. All these activities put on the cognitive load on the driver.
A person driving the vehicle. He is in direct interaction with the infotainment and the GPS system.
A person sitting beside the driver. He can also interact with the infotainment and the GPS system but priority is given to the driver.
C. User Experience Goals
The following user experience goals were kept in focus while developing the core functionalities of the interfaces - Effectiveness, Efficiency, Learnability, Memorability, safety and utility.
This device is a single screen interactive system which will reflect the following growing trends in ubiquitous devices:
- Use of touch screen technology
- Allow for connectivity to multiple input devices like USB, iPod docking station, aux-in port and so on.
- It was incorporate voice activation functionality, allowing users hands-free device control
User Interface Behavior
The unified interface will provide users with the ability to explore all the possible interactions to perform GPS search, audio and video functions.
The following requirements were gathered for the product:
- Functional Interface Requirements
- Content Requirements
- Environmental Requirements
- User Requirements
Design and Prototypes
We started sketching on paper and moved on to Balsamiq software for the low fidelity prototypes. Here we focused on developing the core functionalities of the overall interface. Three iterations were followed to refine the interfaces. Next we developed high fidelity interactive prototypes using Axure.
Evaluating the design
Usability study with users
We selected four participants to take part in a usability study. During each test session, evaluator took general notes for every task. After all tasks were completed, users were asked to complete a post-study questionnaire.
Usability study through internal walkthrough
Task driven expert evaluation was conducted within the team with the following scenarios:
- You are driving from Indianapolis to Chicago with the GPS showing the route. Select an ATM along the way so that when you reach Chicago, you can pay the toll.
- You are on a long and straight highway and driving alone, you want random songs to be selected depending on your mood.
- Before starting the GPS, you want to listen to the current news on the FM on the frequency 98.3 MHz.