Designing for Driving with Android Auto

Cars are an integral part of our daily lives yet they remain largely disconnected from our digital lives.  This gap in connectivity has propagated improper use of phones while driving and has led to devastating roadway accidents.  But through technology, there is a better way for in­vehicle interfaces to provide the rich experiences users are seeking and reduce the likelihood for improper phone use.

Android Auto was developed to take features and apps from the phone and deliver them in a responsible manner for use in the car.  But designing in the automotive space is unlike any other and fundamentally different than conventional web and mobile UX design. Interactions with conventional interfaces are designed to be engaging to capture user attention. But inside the car, interactions with interfaces need to do the exact opposite to help minimize driver distraction.

Driver distraction can be broken up into three core components: visual distraction, manual distraction, and cognitive distraction.  These can very simply be stated as don’t make people look for too long, fiddle around with complicated controls, or think too much.  And when designing inside the car, designers must strive to minimize each of these in order to reduce the overall distraction imposed on the driver.

At Google we know that this is an incredibly challenging process, so we put a lot of research and reason into every part of the interface to help minimize driver distraction and keep eyes on the road.  This talk will step through the various research methods we employ and the design strategies and decisions that we exercise in order to create a glanceable, usable, and enjoyable system.

You will learn…

  • Fundamentals of driver distraction
  • Methods for measuring and evaluating in­-vehicle distraction & user experience
  • Design strategies and guidelines for minimizing distraction
  • Google’s approaches for mitigating distractions with Android Auto

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Date: February 10, 2016 Time: 1:45 pm - 2:30 pm photo of Greg Neiswander

Greg Neiswander