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Technology must in all cases be at the disposal of the users.
In the margin of the election of the family car of the Year (which you also in this issue the results can be found), mobiliteitsclub VAB, in cooperation with the team of professor Jan Pauwels of the KU Leuven is a research into the usability of the current generation of dashboards. Not only because the smartphone is a (major) source of distraction along the way, but the blame also affects the car itself.
In the test were four models of cars (an Audi A3 Sportback, Peugeot 5008, Renault Grand Scénic and a Volkswagen Golf) subjected to five different acts: a navigatieadres to enter, the radio of the transmitter to change the temperature 3 degrees increase, the achterruitontdooiing turn on and go in search of the average fuel consumption of the car. The test was performed by three subjects: a 25-year-old, a 40-year-old and a 67-year-old. First, all of the actions once performed already stationary, so that the subjects knew how they had to work with, then they were (in a safe test environment) whilst running.
It was not so much what car is the best out of the test or any test subject scored best (almost of course, was the younger often the fastest), the ultimate goal was to prepare guidelines for the operation of a car as easy as possible and if it can, of course, to make. The test came the following recommendations: designers should be there in the first place attention for that everyday operations are not too complex, so as not to have those functions disabled while driving.
A second observation is the logic itself: the more steps, the more difficult the operation is. The following observation is equally obvious: the further the driver his gaze and/or head must rotate (the view on) the road, how dangerous it is. Controls must be so as central and as close as possible to the driver to be compiled.
Finally: it is still only advancing touch screen is not a panacea. If there is one, there are also shortcuts available for share menu and/or everyday actions, such as the operation of radio and heating. Push-buttons and rotary knobs wear still the preferred way over ‘on the screen’, because it is also tactile and auditory info is being picked up, so you’re not constantly at the interface need to look.
If you everything at a glance; it seems all very logical and it is also highly consistent with what we here always in our testing experience and recommend it, but if you hear it from another. Technology must in all cases be at the service of the users, and not something invented for techies. That has also this test has yet again clearly demonstrated.