German Cars and User Experience

Updated August 12, 2015: I bought a Tesla. It has the most enormous touchscreen – no irritating nobs to turn 🙂 

G’day Developers!

For the last month I was driving through Germany, Italy, Austria and Croatia. I hired 3 different cars. Having mainly driven Toyotas, I was keen on experiencing some variety.

The 1st one was an Audi A6, it is beautiful piece of German engineering that I got up to 245km/hr without even feeling it. The only frustrating thing, was learning this iPod like wheel that you spin.

To work the dial/wheel you first rotate it, attempt to navigate up and down through menus, and press to select. You also have 4 buttons that surround the control which are very difficult to work out when all the instructions are in German.

Audi controls
Figure: Audi controls

I also used a Mercedes SLK200 which was almost as nice except it also had the dial/wheel to rotate and unfortunately a very small, iPhone sized navigation display.

The 3rd car I hired was a Kia only because my BMW fell through. The Kia unfortunately maxed out at 165km/h on the autobahn but I quickly understood what all the buttons did.

Kia Controls
Figure: Kia controls

So which car did I like the most?

Surprisingly, it wasn’t the German engineering of the Audi or the Mercedes. It was the Kia. “Why?” I hear you ask. Because, the Kia was the only one with a large touchscreen which made using the GPS super easy 😀

It surprised me. Does it surprise you?