The recently unveiled new car brand from Geely, LYNK&CO, has set out to be the world’s most connected car. Key to making that vision come true is making the connected user experience innovative and smooth. Fabiola Rodriguez, Senior UX Designer & Scrum Master at Geely Design and Malin Farmansson, UX designer at CEVT Infotainment, share their thoughts on how to make it happen.
Matching advances in technology and connectivity with a great user experience is a challenge all across the automotive industry. According to Fabiola and Malin, that requires working closely together across disciplines.
“In the UX department we are very aware that in digital development, design and technical know-how needs to go hand in hand. We all work together to create a revolutionary user experience,” says Fabiola.
Malin agrees: “When we work together, we feel that we are in this together. There’s a great spirit. Instead of limiting ourselves we challenge each other”.
The members of the UX team strive to become cross-disciplinary experts, able to communicate in many different forums in order to integrate user experience solutions in all relevant areas. Alongside interaction designers, the team also includes highly skilled developers.
“We learn day by day from each other and in that way become better designers. I believe we have high chances of becoming a world leading UX department and that is not something many companies can say today,” says Fabiola.
The team is proud of how their concept is based on what users want, from social media to familiar mobile inspired gestures.
Malin explains: “It’s awesome. It is fresh, connected and super easy to use! Most of the automotive industry is not there yet. It’s still a lot of small touch areas, tricky systems to use while driving and not so smart functions. Like one of our users in New York explained it – today refrigerators are smarter than cars. Our users want to have smart cars and be up to date on social media. That is the reality.”
If what users want is the same kind of experiences they get from smart consumer electronics and connected tech, then how can cars deliver it?
“Our concept dares to be different to traditional cars on the market, since we think it is super important to listen to our users and to create a concept tailored for them. We have state of the art graphics and a car that takes smart decisions for you, a system with mobile inspired gestures and we’re making driving fun through gamification,“ says Malin.
The concept can also expand to include services around the car and other digital devices or portals that can connect to the car. Or how the interior of the car enhances experiences – and why not how the exterior of the car can communicate.
“We think that having a broad approach to how our users will experience LYNK & CO at all different touch points determines how users will feel about LYNK & CO. We need to be disruptive and ahead of our time. Within user experience that takes a lot of research and strategizing. The visual part is just the tip of the iceberg,” says Fabiola.
“To improve a user experience you need different competences working together. By bringing together different people with different backgrounds, we work hard to create the best possible user experience”, Malin concludes.