Thursday, August 5, 2021
News Consumers Are Falling Out Of Love With Their In-Car Touchscreens

Consumers Are Falling Out Of Love With Their In-Car Touchscreens

A recent study has shown that consumers’ satisfaction with their in-car infotainment touchscreens is dropping.

  • When compared to our phones and tablets, in-car screen UX lags.
  • Fingerprint smudging is a big complaint.
  • Difficult text entry is another one.

There was a time when reviewing a car meant turning up the volume on the audio system to find out how high the volume needed to be turned up before the speakers would vibrate. Today, we barely have time to turn up the knob, if partly because many new cars and SUVs don’t have any. We now spend considerable amount of time fiddling with the in-car infotainment through touchscreens to get a sense of the user-experience (UX).

While most are intuitive enough, some remain complex and complex. Some provide delayed responsiveness, poor graphics and a lack of reliability. In an investigation completed by the In-Vehicle UX (IVX) group at Strategy Analytics, car owners are falling out of love with these screens.

Consumers surveyed in the US, Western Europe, and China reported the following (from the original story):

  • Difficult text entry and excessive fingerprint smudging are common complaints among all car owners.
  • Because touchscreens have reached market saturation in the US, satisfaction with in-car screens has tailed off significantly.
  • However, touchscreens remain a relatively newer phenomenon in many car models in Western Europe (compared with the US) and thus their limitations are less prominent in the minds of car owners.
  • Overall touchscreen satisfaction fell for the fifth straight year in China, indicating a growing impatience for in-car UX to match UX found elsewhere in the consumer electronics space.

“Although hardware quality certainly figures in many of the usual complaints car owners have about their screens, it is not the sole factor. Cockpit layout and UI design can play important roles in mitigating some issues with in-car touchscreens,” said Chris Schreiner, Director, Syndicated Research UXIP.

We notice this every week. We’ve found that older (2 years!) designs are occasionally more satisfying to use with simpler, more straightforward . Many mid-range devices require two or four inputs to reach desired menus which mars the UX despite lovely graphics and excellent responsiveness. High-end units vary wildly depending on the make.

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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