putting people first

by experientia
by experientia
22 December 2010

Automakers grapple with New-Age dilemma: software or hardware?

Be the first to share
putting people first
by experientia

Ford Sync
A somewhat older but no less relevant article by Bill Visnic on how automakers are diverging around the question of how to approach the onboard “infotainment” revolution.

“For each OEM, the basic decision about infotainment is this: whether to “embed” most of the enabling hardware and software for wireless communications into the infrastructure of the vehicle, essentially creating their own mobile devices — or to minimize such integration and concentrate on producing the best possible interfaces with cell phones, smart phones and other devices consumers already are using and bringing into the vehicle.

Ford sits more or less at one end of the spectrum with Sync, whose strength on a practical and marketing basis seems to be that the system makes it easy to use already-favorite wireless devices and programs in Ford’s cars. […]

On the other end of the scale is GM, which committed itself mainly to an embedded strategy nearly two decades ago with OnStar, building the service into its vehicles — and basically has stuck with that approach since then.”

In setting its strategy, Viscnic says, each OEM is wrestling with the following realities:

  • The demographics of the customer: Unanimously, OEMs see interest in heavily embedded devices and systems being stronger with older people and higher in luxury segments.
     
  • The rate of change: Automakers have long had difficulty keeping up with the incredibly fast pace of change in digital technology compared with the relatively slow speed at which new systems and technologies take root in vehicles and with the overall product cycle of cars. But now the tension is getting worse.
     
  • The ubiquity of mobile devices: Seventy percent of mobile-phone use occurs inside vehicles, so “a responsible OEM” must consider how consumers interact with handsets and other peripherals in the vehicle. Yet smart phones at this point comprise only about 20 percent of the mobile-phone market.
     
  • The tyranny of apps: Consumers increasingly expect to be able to use all their favorite websites and apps on their smart phones in the vehicle even if it isn’t safe for them to do so while driving.
     
  • The issue of redundancy: One of the big advantages of a tethered system is it doesn’t require users of onboard infotainment services to subscribe to another wireless service, such as OnStar or Safety Connect.
     
  • The robustness of onboard systems: For what safety services promote and offer, they really can’t depend on brought-in mobile devices.
     
  • The role of safety: The issue of how infotainment affects driver and passenger safety is on everyone’s lips.

Read article

Be the first to share
Related Article
19 December 2014
Beautiful users: book and exhibition
BOOK Beautiful Users: Designing for People Edited and designed by Ellen Lupton Princeton Architectural Press, 2014, 144 pages In the mid-twentieth century, Henry Dreyfuss, widely considered the father of industrial design, pioneered a user-centered approach to design that focuses …
Related Article
4 December 2014
There is no such thing as UX Design
Peter Merholz argues that the entire “field” of user experience emerged for one reason — to accommodate, and overcome, poor (or non-existent) product management practices. He now wants to retire the term: "'User experience design' served a …
Related Article
21 November 2014
Everyday rituals and digital tech in the families of mobile workers
Quotidian Ritual and Work-Life Balance: An Ethnography of Not Being There Jo-Anne Richard and Paulina Yurman (Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art) David Kirk and David Chatting (Culture Lab, Newcastle University) Paper presented at the …
Related Article
20 November 2014
The Banks of the Future: An Experience Design Perspective
Banks should shift their role from payment processors to trusted consumer advisors by focusing on the customer experience, argues Rob Girling in an Op-Ed piece for PSFL. "My advice to banks is to start by looking …
Related Article
19 November 2014
Fundamental principles of great UX design
In this edition of Ask UXmatters (a series curated by Janet M. Six), an eight-person expert panel looks at the importance of considering the fundamental principles of great design — not just UX design principles, …
Related Article
6 November 2014
Little Data, Big Data and UX design at LinkedIn
Julie Marie Norvaisas and Jonathan "Yoni" Karpfen of LinkedIn's User Experience Design (UED) Research Team share how their team discovers and uses "little data" to inform and inspire, in the context of a company driven …
Related Article
27 October 2014
Best practices for medical app development go beyond standard UX
Mobile healthcare app development poses a set of challenges very different from mainstream apps. Not only is security an area that requires a considerable attention, compliance with regulatory standards is also absolutely crucial. Mithun Sridharan …
Related Article
26 October 2014
Creating user-friendlier environments
MIT News describes how Federico Casalegno of the MIT Mobile Experience Lab designs technology environments that keep human experience at the center of user experience. "The director of the MIT Mobile Experience Lab looks to innovate …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

27 November 2014
Why the world needs anthropologists – an update

Why the world needs anthropologists – Coming out of the ivory tower Location: Padua, Italy, Centro Culturale Altinate/San Gaetano Date and time: Friday, 5 December 2014, 13:00 – 18:00 Padua, Italy, 5 December 2014 – The second edition of the international symposium of applied anthropologists attempts to erase the boundary between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ anthropology, […]

30 October 2014
The BancoSmart ATM by Experientia for UniCredit selected for ADI Design Index

Last year Experientia designed the interface of an ATM of UniCredit, a major Italian bank. The interface is now rolled out across the bank’s ATMs in Italy, to great satisfaction of the bank and the customers alike, since interaction speed is much faster and error rates went down dramatically. Last year UniCredit and Experientia also […]

29 October 2014
Experientia at EPIC: UX transforming a financial institution

In September 2014 Experientia gave a presentation on working as UX professionals with financial institutions at the EPIC conference in New York. The paper is now available on the EPIC site in HTML and PDF versions (free registration req’d). Abstract Application of a user-centered approach rooted in ethnographic methodologies facilitates a major European bank’s transition […]

25 October 2014
Experientia president to speak at User Friendly 2014 in China

Experientia president Michele Visciola is one of the keynote speakers at User Friendly 2014, the annual user experience conference of UXPA China, to be held in Wuxi, China, 13 to 16 November. The theme of the 11th conference is the “new era of the experience economy,” thus underlining the importance of transferring UX concepts and […]

19 October 2014
Event: Why the world needs anthropologists

An upcoming event is encouraging anthropologists to “come out of their ivory towers” and work more closely with their colleagues in the field, in order to bridge the gap between “pure” and “applied” anthropology. The international symposium “Why the world needs anthropologists” (Facebook page) will be held on 5 December 2014 in Padua, Italy. Experientia […]

See all articles