Instruments for an electric car, pt. I

A personal study in GUI design

mood design
Realization period
Technology used
Adobe XD, Graphic design tools

Out of personal interest and to work on my skills, I decided on a study. The topic is the instruments of a electric car. In this post I'm looking at first ideas and list some of the initial questions and goals for the project. This is part 1 of a series.

In general, my feeling is that with most modern technological advancements we take away the haptic dimension from users. Haptic controls and feedback still have their place - take e.g. the steering wheel. And in some places they have an advantage over other forms of controls. That's why I'm dividing the envisioned instruments into the categories: haptical, visual and aural.

All instruments and availabale settings should be aimed at giving drivers control and information when they need it and otherwise stay out of the way. As a plus, they teach drivers how to reduce the energy consumption of their car as to extend the range and reduce wear and tear. Not in a way that annoys users but rather involves gamification.

All instruments should be language agnostic or – if part of the GUI – configurable. In addition to the instruments in the dashboard, I'm adding in a HUD at a later stage.

What instruments does a driver need?

The following list is not exhaustive and certainly one or the other item is prioritized to my own liking. So there might be revisions.

Must haves

  • Tachometer
  • Battery indicator/ range indicator
  • Lighting controls and indicators
  • Blinker controls and indicators
  • Climate control
  • Driving settings (automated gearbox)
  • Car systems health information (oil, water, tire pressure)
  • Seat bealt indicators
  • Door indicators
  • Recuperation settings
  • Econometer
  • Coupling with mobile devices for extended/ shared functionality

Nice to haves

  • Cruise control
  • Multimedia system
  • Cameras (Dashcam, IR, Reverse Cam)
  • Drive modes (Eco, City, Sport, Mountains)
  • Personal profiles
  • Navigation
  • Anti-theft protection
  • Interface themes
  • Nighttime/ daytime adjustments