I was approached by Rightware to design an application for a next-generation vehicle. Utilising the industry-standard Kanzi software for automotive applications, my goal was to develop a seamless and elegant interface that facilitated control of various functions, from opening windows to adjusting the temperature. To ensure the design's feasibility within the next five years, I reassessed and discarded initial concepts that seemed too futuristic. Instead, my focus shifted toward cultivating an intuitive interaction between the user and the vehicle. I assigned a dedicated screen for each function, with the device itself functioning as a button for easy control.
A major challenge involved balancing the roles of the smartphone app and the onboard display. Initially, I intended to prioritize the onboard display; however, after numerous trials, I realized that a smartphone was necessary due to the unwieldiness of entering extensive data. Consequently, the roles of each device evolved—the onboard display served as the primary display for simple tasks such as lowering windows or adjusting volume, while the smartphone app handled user creation, data entry, car unlocking, and other precision-based functions. Rather than being an all-in-one solution, the built-in display functioned as an extension of the smartphone app, specifically designed for in-car use and powered by the app.
This approach of dedicating a screen to each function and using the device itself as a button resulted in a simple yet powerful interface. Users could focus on their desired action without getting lost in menus, screens, or options. The entire screen transformed into a button, easily controlled through basic gestures.