Americans drive. A lot. Other countries do their fair share of driving, but the automobile is an icon of American culture right along with the cowboy. There are a billion autos on the planet and a substantial majority of them are within the United States. With that many potential consumers in search of a product which never goes out of demand, you would think more emphasis would be placed on the HMI of the vehicle. Such is not the case. By and large, automotive GUIs are sub-par on their best days and confusing or just plain bad on other days.
Color theory is used for web pages, painting, photography; virtually anything that makes use of color to help communicate something to a viewer. Generally speaking, color theory is looked upon as a field of scientific study which breaks down into three basic categories:
- The Color Wheel
- Color Harmony
- Color Context
Determining whether or not “smart” automobiles are distracting depends largely on who you ask. If you ask consumers, as was done in the 2012 Traffic Safety Culture Index by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAAFTS), 71% of drivers believe that hands-free devices are safer than hand-held ones, and over 50% of those same people don’t believe that speech-based systems are at all distracting. If you ask car manufacturers, they will claim voice systems are completely safe alternatives that allow a driver to navigate, communicate, or enjoy social media without distraction.
Good design does not happen by accident. It is imagined, researched, planned, and then implemented. It is reimagined and rebuilt through numerous iterations until it eventually evolves into a form perfectly suited for its purpose. Good design is as important as that initial spark of imagination in turning an idea into reality.
Here are eight quotes from incredible people who know a thing or two about good design…
“Design is the method of putting form and content together. Design, just as art, has multiple definitions; there is no single definition. Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.” – Paul Rand
“Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.” – Steve Jobs