Electric Car Dasboard

CONCEPT — 2021

What if a pure touchscreen car dashboard could be integrated with a simple control dial? Would it work or not? Let's find out!

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Introduction

Nowadays many car manufacturers believe in car dashboards equipped merely with a touchscreen. This is not so user friendly in every case, particularly for the driver, as they have to glance at the screen to recognize functions. In addition, there is no physical feedback in case you mistap. In this study, I’ve tested whether it would work to put a control knob with a magnetic attachment on the touchscreen to control functions by pushing and turning it or dragging it to the right place.

Starting on the design

In the first phase, I collected and grouped all the basic functions necessary for a car dashboard. Without claiming completeness, my aim was to try out an idea, not to build a perfectly working car dashboard device.

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The idea

The basic idea was to combine a conventional touchscreen with special magnetic fields and a control knob with a magnetic attachment.

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How does it work?

Simply dragging the knob to the right place can activate the function connected to the given spot and you can set the value by twisting the device. If more functions are available, you can push the button on the top of the knob to switch between them.

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Prototyping

The test device was a Microsoft Surface Go tablet, so I designed the user interface elements adjusted to its proportions.

I have prototyped as many interface elements as possible to make the dashboard surface almost lifelike.

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Try it!

I’ve shared the Figma prototype to the public, so you can try it on this link. You can switch between the modes by clicking the time.

(The prototype was created with Figma interactive components beta, so sometimes it’s a bit buggy.)

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And what if you don't need the control knob? Simply get rid of it, you can set everything on the touchscreen.

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Conclusion

As an experiment, this is definitely an interesting concept idea. The prototype was easy to use, though of course it would be important to reduce the learning curve in everyday life. But I think the difficult part of this project is to make the magnetic contact between the screen and the knob strong enough, so that it won’t fall off while the car is shaking. I hope this problem can be solved by smart engineers.

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Disclaimer

First of all, I have to admit that this is not a perfectly polished project, it’s just a study about an idea I wanted to try. I'm a UI designer with some UX skills, I didn't do any research before this project and it hasn’t been user tested.

Like this idea?

Tell me your opinion!

Like this idea?

Tell me your opinion!

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Contact

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