Haptic Technology made by Immersion creates touch feedback on touchscreens and other automotive surfaces. Haptics adds tactile feedback to touch screens making the user experience intuitive and safer in automotive environment for the drivers.
Upon joining Immersion I was asked to review UX and UI design on an ongoing project lacking in UX leadership. Upon my assessment I gave conclusion that the ongoing design failed to convey the purpose of the project and lacked vision expected from such demonstrator.
With remaining schedule of 6 weeks I offered to fully redesign the UX and UI including creation of final production assets to be integrated using Unity. The UI was to be controlled via a small touch screen as well as a small horizontal touch panel below. The interactions in this 2-in-1 demo were designed to be simple and intuitive. The primary goal was to showcase the variation of haptic effects in context of automotive interactions, not the UI design itself.
In most of the screens, the interactions with the touchscreen and touchpad are consistent with each other. However, there are minor differences in some cases.
When interacting with the touchscreen, it’s assumed the driver would be looking at the screen and receive both haptic and visual feedback. When interacting with the touchpad, however, the interactions are designed to be more “forgiving” of approximate input and allow the driver to focus on the road. Therefore, haptic feedback on touchpad interaction places more emphasis on exploration and orientation gestures.
Haptics can perfectly complement the audio-visual components of traditional touch surfaces interactions as to simulate the sensations related to the physical counterpart of a digital UI element. That would help the user achieve the intended tasks easier and faster (i.e. less confusion and frustration), and thus increase joy and positive attitude towards the product.
Haptics and Cognitive load
Haptics can be used to efficiently convey information to the user as the sole sensory channel or in addition to the other channels (i.e. Audio Visual). However, haptics has the advantage of reducing the visual attention load of a driver, and of overcoming the audible noise problem in a car where audio cues can be misinterpreted.
Interactions task flow
This project was a team effort, only possible with the collaboration between very talented and passionate group of individuals at Immersion Corporation.