Developers should adhere to five key principles to perfect the AV user experience, writes Chris Rockwell, founder of Lextant
The auto industry is in the midst of one of the most transformative periods in its history. The rapid pace of new technologies makes possible entirely new mobility experiences for consumer and commercial applications. These experiences will extend well beyond the vehicle to connected lifestyles, shared mobility and well-being. In the future, today’s vehicle owners will no longer drive cars but will instead have mobility trips. They will no longer book hotel rooms but will have destination experiences. They no longer receive coffee but have had moments of shared luxury. In many ways, that future is already here.
With all of these promises and the pace of new product launches, a fundamental consumer question always arises: why aren’t people adopting these technologies faster? Manufacturers continue to struggle with how to engage customers in the right place at the right time, with the right content and the right capacity to drive adoption.
Throughout Lextant’s 30 years of consumer research, we keep coming back to the same basic truth: the success of new innovations is never about technology; it will always be consumer psychology.
The sale is the promise made by the brand. User experience is the promise kept. It should be trustworthy, easy to learn, unambiguous and predictable
Mobility has always been synonymous with freedom and empowerment. Traditional car brands as well as new entrants to the market all have access to the technology that can make innovation possible. Those who win the future of mobility will be the brands that can truly understand how to harness it to meet customer needs and wants. Recognizing this, automakers have invested heavily in recent years to create cultures of “conceptual thinking” and develop their research teams in design and user experience design. The first fruits of these investments are becoming apparent, but much remains to be done.
The five principles of a successful user experience
These user experience designers know that just having the technology is not going to be enough. The challenge is to understand what people really want from these new experiences and how to deliver them in a way that is easy to learn, trustworthy, safe and enjoyable.
The desired mobility experience frameworks that have been developed are the result of years of user research and user experience design in automotive, public and commercial transportation. Lextant’s research into understanding and unlocking user behaviors and desires identified five user experience imperatives. These five fundamental elements will be essential to unlock the market adoption of connected, electric and autonomous innovations.
Discovering value through desirability
Some may have heard the adage “people can’t tell you what they want so research is not useful for innovation”. It is a myth. It’s true that customers can’t tell developers what to do, but they can be very articulate about what experiences they want when they have the tools to express it.
The design thinking process usually begins with empathy, but empathy does not lead directly to the foundation for creating future experiences. Ultimately, developers need to understand what customers value. By understanding what they value in current and desired experiences, they can identify the gaps between today’s products and services and those customers really want, as well as opportunities to add value and create. better future experiences.
Through co-creation or participatory research, stakeholders can discover the experiences that people really want. And these future stories are the start of innovations that will set the industry on a path to unlock the experiences people adopt and use. Brands that go beyond examining net promoter scores and satisfaction rates and instead measure how new solutions deliver value and wants to customers will have a competitive advantage in the future.
See the whole client
It makes sense that the auto industry has largely focused on in-vehicle experiences to date, but since consumers see mobility as a way to achieve more ambitious goals at the living level, it needs to broaden its scope. scope and focus. The industry no longer looks only at “the experience with the thing”, but rather “the experience around the thing”. That is, the end experience goals that mobility solutions really serve.
These life-level experiences include productivity, connection, communication, collaboration, and well-being, among other emotional and functional benefits that users seek. Consumers are consistently more likely to use and adopt products and services that are significantly related to those life goals, needs and emotions that motivate them.
A new era of connectivity will allow developers to deliver mass personalization and personalized experiences. Consumers will now expect their preferences, data and story to follow them with every mobility experience, whether public, personal or shared, connecting them to new experiences, reducing stress, reclaiming more time personal and continuity in life, work, and personal goals.
Build trust for engagement
With new features and services of autonomous, connected and electrified products, the first exhibition counts more than ever. This moment represents a significant paradigm shift from the way users have traditionally engaged with automotive technology. To compound this challenge, the sheer volume of features offered in new vehicles can be overwhelming for users. The first successful experiences will build trust, maintain user engagement and promote faster adoption of new innovations.
From the showroom to the interior of the vehicle, through the connected capabilities and service experiences of dealerships, the focus should be on designing these first experiential touchpoints. The adage “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” is as true in the use of connected vehicles as it is in interpersonal experiences.
Ambiguity in use is one of the two main destroyers of user experience. A key part of building trust with a vehicle or mobility experience is removing any potential ambiguity the user may have with its operation. If a user is unsure whether the vehicle has a feature, how to access it, its current state, or how it works, there is almost no way it will be used successfully.
Traditional car brands as well as new entrants to the market all have access to the technology that can make innovation possible. Those who win the future of mobility will be the brands that can truly understand how to leverage it to meet customer needs and wants.
This can lead to confusion, errors, frustration, and a lack of confidence, all of which should be avoided with designing experiments. Autonomous features, electric charging, new shared services, all-vehicle capabilities are all new to most consumers and therefore user experience designers need to focus more and more on the design and measurement of the vehicle. learning in context, not just about ease of use and fun.
The other main downside to user experience is unpredictability. When users are surprised with an unexpected result, they often simply opt out of using that product or service feature. Ease of use and distraction play a role in unpredictability, but user satisfaction is determined by the size of the gap between a user’s expectations with a product and the actual experience they have. in a. An expensive new vehicle with the latest technology promises an excellent result. If the resulting user experience is unpredictable, dissatisfaction will follow. These little dissatisfactions can build up throughout the experience of a vehicle.
The promise kept
Tracking these five user experience tenants will dramatically increase the odds of successful adoption of new mobility products and services. They also lead to a much higher likelihood of customer acquisition and retention. The reason is simple. The sale is the promise made by the brand. User experience is the promise kept. It should be trustworthy, easy to learn, unambiguous and predictable. It must represent the mobility and life value propositions that motivate users. These human factors can be known and designed to ensure the success of innovation, unlocking the future promised by connected, electric and autonomous mobility.
About the Author: Chris Rockwell is the founder of the human experience company Lextant