The “three second principle” of interaction design in vehicle mounted system



The design of the vehicle system is still a chaotic state, and there is not a complete set of unified design standards and specifications on the market. The design of most manufacturers still uses the design thinking of mobile end, which is obviously inconsistent with the actual scene.

Although there is still not a standard set of powerful system specifications and interactive forms to restrict people, we can find some basic and important interaction principles and design ideas to avoid some of the problems in the system design by standing in the perspective of using the scene and user behavior.

First, the vehicle system is different from the three main characteristics of the mobile terminal.

First   the single operation of vehicle system can not exceed 3 seconds.


The mobile terminal system is an immersive operation, but the vehicle system is different. In the process of driving, the 95% of the user’s energy is to focus on the behavior of driving, and the user can only extract only about 5% of the energy and time to control the vehicle. Therefore, the function logic of the vehicle system is determined, and the layout of information must be presented in the best way in a very short time.

And if the user does not complete the operation within this time, or the user chooses to give up and recome again; or the user will spend more time and energy, but the risk factor of driving will increase exponentially.

After many experiments on different sections, the author counted down the average time of each operation, that is, the time of sight and attention focused on the vehicle, and no more than three seconds; in fact, when the third second was entered, it had to take advantage of the surplus light to begin to pay attention to the road.

Therefore, within three seconds, whether it is the first failure of the user, re – attention to the road condition, re operation, or the user’s continuous operation until the task is completed, it is very dangerous. Here, because the cost of the user is very large, the design of interactive design and the design of information layout need to be done. To the most extreme

Second vehicle system requires high degree of convergence of information and function.

In the special operating environment mentioned in the first point, we can not use the traditional mobile end immersion design thinking to design the interface and function of the vehicle – because in a very short time we have to touch all the functions that may be used, and the layout of the information must be visible.

It is also why the various control switches in the cockpit and the international space station are arranged in a galaxy, not by today’s technology that can not be as simple and clean as a science fiction film, but because in the actual application scenario, the professional people do not need and have no time to go. Appreciate the beautiful interface and learn the way we think of interaction.

In an emergency, it is impossible for the captain to find the main TAB column as we do on the mobile end.


Therefore, in the design of the vehicle system, we need to lay down the design thinking and the so-called aesthetics of the traditional mobile terminal, and to design the interactive mode and the user’s needs in the actual scene.


Third   vehicular system has obvious operation hot area and efficient interaction mode.


Because of the particularity of the driving scene, the user can only use the nearest hand of the car to operate, but can not appear as the mobile terminal, with the other hand or hands. This also decides that when designing the entrance of the vehicle system, it will have strong bias and will also affect the arrangement of visual information.

At the same time, clicking is still the most efficient way to interact in the process of handling the vehicle. Sliding and long pressing in the 3 sec safe operation time above will greatly increase the difficulty of operation and driving risk.


Through the analysis of the above three features, we can understand the background and environment of the design of the vehicle system, thus we can deduce some more detailed design principles.

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