Wednesday, June 25, 2014

improved ux in cars

My car, a slightly dinged but beloved 2004 Scion xA, is now "a little old". (But has just under 90K miles on it, which isn't so bad.)  This past weekend at my friends I had to move two less-old cars, a Jeep and a Pontiac (so not a "new" car). With Jeep, I was confused when I turned off the car but the radio kept playing - I turned it off by hand. But then the same thing happened with the Pontiac, and the owners explained that that's how cars work these days: the electricity for the radio and power windows stays on until you open a door.

That's brilliant! What a nice and humane idea. From a strict nerdy-engineer standpoint it might seem a little weird and arbitrary, but it's a terrific 90/10 solution... either you just leave the car and it's barely different than the old way, or you roll down the windows, THEN leave, or you just sit there because you're waiting for something. So smart and subtle!

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