User Experience in Modern Cars – Definition, Relevance and Challenges of Digital Automotive Applications

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Alexander KreisDaniel FragnerMario Hirz

Abstract: User experience (UX) is very contextual, and it's usually understood as an interaction between users and products or services. The term user experience is often used in the context of websites and apps, but also in view of physical use of products. UX encompasses all the effects and experiences, whether physical or emotional, that customers experience before, during and after using products. In an automotive context, UX may begin with the external appearance of cars and continues throughout the entire usage until the driver and passengers leave the cars. If this UX is experienced as positive and satisfying, perception improves leading to increasing recommendation rates and reputation of the specific product and the behind lying manufacturer. Exemplary product characteristics that support good UX include visually appealing design, the joy of using a car, but also whether the drivers and passengers can identify with the product. In addition, the enjoyment of a particular product is not dispensable for a good UX, which is limited to the use of the product, but also has effects beyond that. In many product areas, UX is well described. There are also various definitions of how to achieve a good UX in certain product areas, but these recommendations are not universally applicable and often cannot be directly applied to other products. Looking at UX in the automotive industry, there is no clear definition of which parameters must be considered to achieve a good UX and how these parameters are categorized. In this context, the presented research introduces a methodology for evaluating the UX of modern cars. There are four main research questions underlying this paper: (1) How to define UX in terms of cars. (2) How can these definitions be applied and evaluated? (3) How do car manufacturers try to provide a good UX in modern cars? and (4) How can aspects of UX be included in the development processes of new cars? Through empirical research, key parameters have been identified to provide a definition of UX of modern cars. These parameters are then weighted according to a scientific approach using various methods and empirical studies. Based on the introduced definition, an exemplary modern premium car is evaluated to classify the actual state of UX. Furthermore, the combination of state-of-the-art UX in modern cars and the novel scientific approach to weight the different parameters is applied in exemplary use cases to point out the potential of the method to improve automotive development processes by integration of UX – related aspects even in early vehicle conception sequences.

Keywords: User Experience in Automotive Engineering, Integration of User Experience, Usability and User Experience, Automotive Development

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003172

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