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GfK Releases Insights for User-Friendly Design in Automobile Infotainment Systems


connected car (select to view enlarged photo)

NEW YORK--June 25, 2013: Automobile manufacturers and OEMs are rushing to bring some of the latest digital technologies to car dashboards. But how can designers and others be sure that these systems deliver the ease of operation that drivers and passengers need?

“Delivering a safe and engaging user experience is essential to driver and passenger satisfaction, and can affect larger issues of brand loyalty. We are glad to share our observations and guidance from this revealing study.”

Drawing on its recent study of built-in navigation and entertainment systems in high-end car models, the User Experience (UX) team at GfK has produced a new white paper: "Auto Infotainment Systems: Can You Spell Luxury without UX?"

To download a free copy of the white paper, click here.

Conducted in the US and Germany, the GfK study looked at in-dash GPS, music, and other systems in recent Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche models. GfK experts "shadowed" 22 consumers as they attempted to:

  • enter a destination into the GPS
  • pair a phone via Bluetooth
  • find a contact in the phone book and start a call
  • play a song from the connected mp3 player

GfK found that

  • basic "human factors" principles--grounded in how people work--were often ignored
  • connectivity tasks--such as pairing a phone--often failed
  • information architecture at times did not adhere to basic heuristic principles

"The laws of good user-centered design are simple, but also so easy to miss," said Wolfgang Waxenberger, author of the white paper and Director of GfK's User Experience team. "Delivering a safe and engaging user experience is essential to driver and passenger satisfaction, and can affect larger issues of brand loyalty. We are glad to share our observations and guidance from this revealing study."

GfK is one of the world's largest research companies, with around 13,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2012, GfK's sales amounted to 1.51 billion.