Project Brief
Air OS is an in-class project that focuses on effective communication during driver's in-car digital experience.
Interface Design
Usability Test
Motion Design
Carina Geng
Elva Guo
Shing Hwang
Christina Liu
Jan - Apr 2022
Julian Scaff
How might we design an autonomous system that instills trust and a sense of safety in drivers?
Users are frightened when
they notice a problem
Users frequently experience confusion, distraction, and even frustration when attempting to interact with the car, even after years of driving. The car fails to provide the necessary information to address the current issue.
Car language is not intuitive
Drivers struggle to comprehend the meaning of the icons and notifications in the car, and seeking answers in the manual book proved to be a pain for them.
Introducing Air OS
The car system that communicates intuitively.
Our goal is to improve the communication between the vehicle and the driver in a more seamless and natural manner. This project presents various scenarios demonstrating how to deliver information in a legible and effective way.

This is an in-class project where we were asked to explore interactions between drivers and vehicles under the increasing digital in-car experience opportunities.
What I Learned
Communication is the strongest adhesive.
In this project, my design focus was prototyping, conducting usability tests, and building the final visuals (interface & concept video).  I also took charge of organizing weekly tasks and communicating with members about meeting times and tasks they want to take on. My biggest take away from this project is how to communicate with team members - ask, not guess. I learned to ask for anything I’m not sure, about instead of assuming people might think as I do.
Communication is about presenting appropriate information.
With the goal “enhancing communication" in mind, I want to understand: when to display what type of information with what level of density, as well as the frequency of interaction.
Understanding the Context
Car language is not intuitive and brings trouble while driving.
First, we conducted interviews with 9 individuals to establish the user journey, obtaining a comprehensive understanding of the entire driving experience. Next, we charted all the positive moments and pain points they encountered on a journey map.
Understanding the Context
Digital Screens are providing excessive amount of information.
By conducting a heuristic analysis on six distinct cars, spanning the spectrum from heavy reliance on physical interaction to almost complete digital interaction, I highlighted the significance of information display. In comparison to cars emphasizing physical interaction, digital screens offer the advantage of presenting intricate information with greater clarity. This aligns with the evolving trend toward diverse in-car experiences; however, it's crucial to exercise control over the volume of information to prevent overwhelming the user.
Key Findings
When users face an inappropriate amount of information, they struggle to make decisions. Thus they feel uncertain and uncontrollable.
Design Goals
Help drivers gain a sense of control by providing sufficient information without breaking the smooth interaction.
Our Design
Conducting 2 rounds of usability tests to validate our prototype.
I selected 3 scenarios that could represent users' needs for redesign. Following the creation of the mid-fidelity prototype, I conducted 2 rounds of testing, yielding valuable insights for further development.
Environment Setup
Placing 2 tablets to simulate the dashboard and central information display (CID).
* Screen color influenced by night photo shoot.
Feedback from users
Grouping Information
User is not capable to pay attention to two screens at the same time.
Seamless Interaction
Voice interaction is the least intrusive to the user while driving
Break down information so it is consumable for drivers.
Our team organized all the feedback and insight into 3 principles that affected all our final design decisions.
Final Design
Safety Check
Get all you need for driving safely.
The safety check feature initiates upon the car's launch and offers solutions when it detects any issues. The front dashboard showcases the key information, allowing users to quickly grasp what is happening. Afterward, they can check the CID (Central Information Display ) for further information, such as auto repair shop locations and the severity of the issue.
Auto Lighting
Combining different media to create seamless interaction
For uncommon scenarios such as fog weather, I explored users’ expectation toward automated features. First, users’ will be notified in advance about entering the fog zone. This provides users a context for seeing the lights being turned on, so they don’t feel intrusive. If users does not want to turn on the light, they can react through voice.
Refilling Windshield Fluid
Friendlier and easier than your car manual
During interviews, I discovered that users find professional terminology like "error notices" to be confusing. In the final solution, I want to make users feel secure when encountering problems.  Instead of reading bulky manuals or searching online, users can ask the voice assistant for instructions directly. The system would provides a video instruction with text explanation for users to follow.
Design System
Modern / Dark Mode / Friendly
I conducted research on various materials to identify best practices for driving scenarios, and then tailored our design system to function effectively in both daytime and nighttime conditions.
Thank you
for viewing!