Adam Emfield’s stories
Smart car manuals aren't manual

In The Design of Everyday Things – one of the best-known books in design and human factors circles – Don Norman discusses how “When a device as simple as a door has to come with an instruction manual—even a one-word manual—then it is a failure, poorly designed.” As we improve the user experience in the […]

In the third post in this series, I discussed what happens when the prompts and the dialog are not complementary. This introduces some cognitive dissonance in the driver, much like conflicting body language and words. While this is often due to overlooking small (but frustrating) things, sometimes it is less self-evident. The example I discussed was […]

In the second post in this series, I discussed how we tend to overload drivers with too much information through both visual and auditory channels. The intentions of these systems is to provide a user with any information at any given time to prevent the driver from engaging with the system and digging for additional […]

How to avoid driver information overload when using automotive human machine interfaces

In Part 1 of this series, I discussed how poor input is a key source for user frustration. When the input is garbage, the output is garbage. While this holds true for any form of input, audio seems to suffer more than touch in modern cars. Fortunately, we talked about many ways to solve this that are […]

How to get the key foundation right for automotive HMI with audio and touch input

If you work in the automotive industry, you’re probably familiar with the JD Power IQS report survey results released each year. The survey provides drivers the opportunity to talk about their experiences with their cars. In recent years, one of the themes has been that human-machine interfaces (HMIs) have usability issues, and that as an industry, […]

Tests show that in-vehicle infotainment and crash avoidance systems – when working in concert – can minimize driver distraction

Now that most of our cars are connected, the next step is to use contextual information to put the right information in front of the driver to ensure the best possible driving experience. So what do we mean about context? And what are we doing with it? Let’s define context as “the set of circumstances […]