Get Fast and Furious with the State of the In-Car UX

by . April 21st, 2014

Can UI go so far as saving a life? Newer models of cars these days, more often than not, come with a touch screen to control everything from what the car is playing, gps/maps to the air conditioning. Yet, in a vehicle where focus must be maintained at all times, we have to give a moment to consider how distracting the in-car UX actually is. When you’re on the road, you have about maybe, a second or two to glance at the screen and make your adjustments. UX should be straightforward with little room for fiddling or navigating through a maze of menus and options to get the desired result. Given how much stock most car companies place on gorgeous dashboards and interiors, sleek lines and excellent transition times for a car to go from 01 to 60 km – you’d think there’d be a little more thought on the screen.

Geoff Teehan gives us the skinny on exactly what is going on with The State of In-Car UX.

Teehan launched his twitter rant on December of 2013. The call to acknowledge the problems of In-Car UX happened when he first tweeted about the UX of the Porche 918 Spyder.


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 The Porche 918 Spyder (pictured above) benchmarks at roughly $845,000 and features an extremely bland UI for it’s price point.

Porche isn’t the only UI offender.

As designers we have concepts such as legible typography and color choices down to a science, we have an innate desire to fix  or to better things – because design, at the sum of it’s parts is essentially problem solving.  Good design gives the user a special kind of happiness. You expect good design in a luxury item. Luxury Items should equal Luxurious UI.

In-Car UX should also be unique.


One of these is a Chrysler Town and Country and the other is a Ferrari California. Can you guess which is which?


The UI of an $80,000 Jaguar F-Type.


The $62,000 Corvette Sting Ray.


The UI of an $450,000 Rolls Royce Phantom looks straight out of 90s design aesthetic.

Not all hope is lost.

Apple is partnering up with big names such as BMW, Ferrari, Jaguar, to Ford – to hopefully end the problem of bland UI – by integrating CarPlay in some of the newer 2014 cars. CarPlay is basically the iOS fix for ugly UI and it looks very very promising. CarPlay boasts seamless integration between the iPhone 5 and the car, letting you check your messages, access your media library and take calls. All this with Siri for an optimised hands-off experience.



Check out The State of In-Car UX. You can also follow Geoff on Twitter.

If you could redesign these system – what would you do? Did we forget anything or do you have any car UIs that you enjoy? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. You can also hit us up on our FacebookTwitter and Google+ profiles. Lastly, our RSS Feeds is open for subscription, so that you can stay creative.