Identify waste

Learning Goal: I’m working on a industrial design question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

Consider modern automobiles, that are increasingly becoming “Smart Cars.” One big step on the way to self-driving is the augmented reality features now becoming common. But the usability and user-centered design issues arising with smarter cars are growing in number and complexity.


Consider that in many older or more inexpensive cars, the only blind spot monitoring is turning your head over your shoulder in conjunction with a glance at a side-view mirror and a rear-view mirror. Consider also a common blind spot monitoring approach is a small yellow or orange light in the side view mirrors, which lights up when an object in your blind spot is detected (for example, Chevy Lane Change with Blind Zone Alert ). In this case it is still advisable to use your side-view and rear-view mirrors, and to look over your shoulder, but as a person who sometimes gets lazy about turning my head, these monitors in my Chevy have saved me several times from not looking!

Finally consider that an emerging, more sophisticated system is in the Tesla Lane Assist (especially blind spot camera and collision warning chime) which of course allows using mirrors and shoulder turns, but requires a glance to your RIGHT at the center-mounted console to see the car’s surroundings as a simplified image.

Imagine a user (a driver, in reality, me!) who switched cars in a few days from my regular Chevy (1b) to a cheap rental car (1a) to a relative’s Tesla (1c) in a few days, leading to some cognitive confusion especially around blind spot monitoring! Imagine all 3 cases (using only mirrors and looking over the shoulder; adding a little light in the mirror on the side that has the blind spot that you want to monitor; and looking at the center console and relying on chimes). How might a user-centered design process, like the Stanford steps, be used to improving this interaction where I was confused by the two old technologies when I started to use the Tesla? Be brief (no minimum word count), but use the design steps accurately and specific to the driving situations I encountered.


Do a Google search on “Tesla Model S Plaid Cockpit” and “Toyota Rav 4 Prime Cockpit” images. Contrast the driver’s experience in each, using the terms 1) persona2) enchanted objects, 3) affordances, 4) distributed cognition, and 5) user-centered design. Please do not repeat marketing literature! Rather, imagine you are a user getting into each of these 3 cockpits for the first time, and trying to analyze them through ideas we covered in this course. Be brief (no minimum word count), but use the five terms accurately.

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