Audi A8, displays visual performance and why I can't wait to evaluate the UX.
For the last four years, I was fortunate enough to have driven most of the premium cars on the market. My focus has been on in-car displays, HMI and the holistic approach to user experience (UX). Due to the numerous hours I have invested in UX evaluations, there are very few things in a car that can really surprise me. However, the Audi A8 is one of these surprises and I can’t wait to test drive it in 2018. Here is why:
I am impressed with Audi's approach to Displays Harmonisation. With an increasing number of displays in the car it is important for drivers and passengers to feel that every pixel of the HMI was considered holistically. The new A8 is a great example of that holistic approach. A8 has three screens at the front with the following specs:
1) a 12.3” cluster with 1920x720 resolution at 167 PPI; 2) a 10,1” Central information display upper with 1540x720 resolution at 167 PPI; and 3) a 8.6” central information display lower with 1280 x 660 at 167 PPI.
Thus, all three displays have pixel density of 167 PPI providing visual harmony of the digital experience. (Until I test the car in early 2018 it will be assumed that brightness, contrast ratio and colour gamut will be consistent across all three screens). Attention to detail and the effort for harmonisation should be standard, although numerous examples of less harmonised integrations exist, with obvious differences in brightness and resolution.
Driver Distraction. Despite Audi's great approach to visual performance, I do have one usability concern about the lower screen and Audi's claim from the press release: "The lower display also offers the driver the option of entering text – either via a keyboard or by handwriting recognition". I am looking forward to understand the full feature set, user interactions and driver distraction of the lower screen.