Design Engine
Training Classes/Tutorials for Designers, Engineers, & 3D Professionals


Google+

Events

October 31st, 2017

BMW and Automotive UX

More articles by »
Written by: Bart Brejcha
Tags: , , , , , , ,
 

When I think of automotive design, I think of the straight lines, and boxiness of the 90’s cars, then I think of the feminine curves of the next decades cars. I think of the once simple interiors where everything was operated with a button or dial. I then think about the LCD screens,, automatic climate control, and rain sensing wipers. Things have changed. These days, you’re most likely touching screens more often than buttons or knobs. Cars, especially in the premium or luxury segment, are designed with functionalities, inter-connectivity, and user experiences  comparable to an Ipad or smartphone. Automotive design has become more complex than ever . With these new features comes new jobs, or new ways of  doing old jobs.

 

I had the pleasure of attending the UX meetup group hosted by WeWork,  with a few kind folks from the BMW technology office presenting on the topic of “Designing for the Connected Vehicle”.  The team spoke on how they have introduced a Lean UX/Agile strategy to a large distributed team in order to deliver an experience that connects drivers to their vehicles across multiple touchpoints and devices. The team successfully proved how rapid/iterative design can be incorporated into traditional automotive design practices in order to optimize expectations of features and functionalities to deliver premium products to customers in 27 countries.

 

They talked about various UX features implemented with the cars, but the main star is “BMW  ConnectedDrive”. Connectivity is taking inputs from the vehicle, driver, and environment. While developing this system the engineers had three goals that were the focus: Comfort, safety, and entertainment. During the presentation they explained how you are connected through on-board and off-board systems. On-board being, the cars computers and infotainment systems, such as the iDrive, the centerpiece of BMW ConnectedDrive. This is a controller, and a display screen with a touch pad, allowing the driver control of the entertainment, information, communication, and navigation systems with one hand. The off-board systems connected with your car are your smartphone or smartwatch, through the BMW Connected app. You can have your calendar, online radio playlist, other apps connected through the BMW interface. Reading the news, or looking at the forecast would be a distraction,  this system will read aloud for you instead. The BMW connected will even help you find, parking, allow you to remotely close sunroof, and help you find your car after its parked. Countless hours and weeks went into research, testing, and UX design. Every feature. Graphic, or visual feature was thought out to look and function a certain way. There were customization’s to adapt to different cultures, and different countries regulations

 

The BMW technology team are masterminds at UX, but when it comes to new car design, they have to integrate their digital creations with the physical. They communicate with the interior designers, and engineers in Germany in order to produce a truly cohesive innovation. The Digital and physical world meet. Those that work in each respective field still have similar objectives, challenges, and thought process. The two fields compliment each other.

 

Physical designers and digital designers are more similar than they are different.  Often designers have to scrutinize and balance utility, usability, and desirability. Usability is at the core of user experience, without usability it’s hard creating a good user experience. In both physical and digital design, utility is the first consideration in creating something new. Both, design engineers, and UX designers have ask “ is the product useful to the user?’, and “does this solve a problem?’. After the designers fulfill the initial demands, the design must be made appealing to humans. In the physical design world, once the functionality and technical specifications are approved and implemented by the engineers,  an industrial designer has to meet those demands while simultaneously achieving  easy usability, and a something desirable and attractive to humans.

 

The physical and digital worlds are coming together and they will continue to connect more than ever in the future. Weather making a new car, “smart” washing machine, or software, When it comes to design of products meant for humans, a key factor is user experience.

 

Article Author: Eli Petrov


About the Author

Bart Brejcha
As the main instructor for Design-engine Bart teaches many of the PTC Creo & the Solidworks Surfacing classes. When he is not developing new training material you will find him on motorcycles, bicycles or on a skateboard. He loves any kind of racing on two wheels.




Design Engine Industrial Design Training Pro Engineer
 
 

 

Carpet Cloak for Invisibility

“For generations, the topic of invisibility has been of great interest. Although it was once dismissed as science fiction, it has now become reality on a small scale. Physics textbooks around the world must be rewritten and s...
by Bart Brejcha
0

 
 
skeleton part for creating the welded bicycle & jig components

Top Down Design: And its History

  Brief History of Top Down Design It all starts with Mil Spec standards. “MilSpecs”, are used to help achieve standardization objectives by the U.S. Department of Defense.  Part of  that specification basica...
by Bart Brejcha
0

 
 

ThingWorx, Augmented Reality, and IoT in the workplace

AR/VR, along with the Internet of Things (IoT), has been talked about for a few years now as the next big thing. To help get it straight, Techcrunch explained it like this: Virtual Reality (AR): places users inside the virtual ...
by Bart Brejcha
0

 

 

Photoshop Level One: Dec 16-17

Adobe Photoshop Level 1 Course Duration: 16 / 32 / 40 hours  Tuition: $150 / $275 / $325 USD Overview: The purpose of this Adobe Photoshop training course is to get you acquainted with the basics of Photoshop and to rapidl...
by Bart Brejcha
0

 
 

BioLite FirePit: Making Fires Toasty Instead of Smokey

If you are an outdoors lover like me, you probably like to go camping , grill food, or sit outside at night with friends around a warm fire. Man has been doing these activities since he learned how to make a fire, and i’m...
by Bart Brejcha
0

 



0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


You must be logged in to post a comment.