Tesla's Model 3 may not satisfy 'mainstream' buyers

John

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#2
Laughed when he said, "Annoying as hell."

Annoying as hell is me trying to explain to my wife's mother how to use the navigation system in her new Mazda. Her Mazda has one of those "advanced" UIs where there is a rotating "smart" do-everything knob and a set of companion buttons which together let you navigate the main screen. I design products for a living, and it was seriously making me angry. Not as much to figure out how to get to things—though that was frustrating at times—but to try to explain it to someone else. I find this "now explain to someone else how to do it" to be the acid test of any UI.

In the end, she set the radio to her favorite station (and left it there) and has never used the navigation (I even programmed a set of her favorite locations in advance). When she admitted that she didn't plan to use any of the features, I felt two things: 1) a little miffed the lesson didn't take, 2) glad I didn't have to drive it.

 

danzgator

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#3
Laughed when he said, "Annoying as hell."

Annoying as hell is me trying to explain to my wife's mother how to use the navigation system in her new Mazda. Her Mazda has one of those "advanced" UIs where there is a rotating "smart" do-everything knob and a set of companion buttons which together let you navigate the main screen. I design products for a living, and it was seriously making me angry. Not as much to figure out how to get to things—though that was frustrating at times—but to try to explain it to someone else. I find this "now explain to someone else how to do it" to be the acid test of any UI.

In the end, she set the radio to her favorite station (and left it there) and has never used the navigation (I even programmed a set of her favorite locations in advance). When she admitted that she didn't plan to use any of the features, I felt two things: 1) a little miffed the lesson didn't take, 2) glad I didn't have to drive it.

I just don't see the annoying as hell either. You don't mess with settings when you're driving, you set them when you're parked before you leave. Could you want to change something on the move? It's possible, but I think most drivers have a preference for their car, set everything and forget it. The only thing that annoys me is the cruise control speed adjustments on screen.
 

Gorillapaws

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#4
I just don't see the annoying as hell either. You don't mess with settings when you're driving, you set them when you're parked before you leave. Could you want to change something on the move? It's possible, but I think most drivers have a preference for their car, set everything and forget it. The only thing that annoys me is the cruise control speed adjustments on screen.
I think this is primarily a symptom of the software being behind where the production is. Admittedly I've never even sat in a Model 3, but things like controlling wiper speed (which just was changed in the update), cruise control following distance, etc. should be handled via the knobs on the steering wheel (and presumably will be soon). This is likely at least part of the reason why Tesla isn't eager to have the press review these things yet. I have no doubts at all that in 6 months or so most of the basic core functionality of the vehicle will be more-or-less complete (obviously it will get improvements for many years). The other reason is that they don't need to increase demand right now.
 
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garsh

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#5
You don't mess with settings when you're driving, you set them when you're parked before you leave.
OK, I'll play devil's advocate. :)
Think about the things that you do tend to change while driving.
  • Adjust audio system volume
  • Change audio system stations/source/track
  • Adjust temperature/fan speed/output vents/defrost
When I've owned a car for a while, my hands just "know where to go" to do most of these things. It's much harder to use a touchscreen than it is to hit a button in a known location. I'll get used to the 3's controls, and learn to live with it, but I'd much rather have an on/off/volume knob somewhere in the car.
 

danzgator

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#6
OK, I'll play devil's advocate. :)
Think about the things that you do tend to change while driving.
  • Adjust audio system volume
  • Change audio system stations/source/track
  • Adjust temperature/fan speed/output vents/defrost
When I've owned a car for a while, my hands just "know where to go" to do most of these things. It's much harder to use a touchscreen than it is to hit a button in a known location. I'll get used to the 3's controls, and learn to live with it, but I'd much rather have an on/off/volume knob somewhere in the car.
Yeah, but the majority of those things are not controlled by screen or are always up in the same spot an easily located.
  • The radio controls are on the steering wheel - pause, volume, next track. You can also say, 'Play xxxxx' and it will play whatever you ask. If you wanted to search for something, yes, that would be distracting.
  • The AC is automatic. The defrost and temp up/down buttons are always up on the screen and are prominently along the bottom, so are easily accessible. I didn't find those adjustments distracting at all. I know some people change fan speeds and things like that. I don't get the reasoning when the AC is automatic and it's optimized to your temp, but I understand that people do it. They'll be distracted.
The distracting issue is when you have to drill down into a menu to make an adjustment. Most, if not all, of those adjustments are done when you are not moving.
 

@gravityrydr

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#7
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@gravityrydr

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#8
Laughed when he said, "Annoying as hell."

Annoying as hell is me trying to explain to my wife's mother how to use the navigation system in her new Mazda. Her Mazda has one of those "advanced" UIs where there is a rotating "smart" do-everything knob and a set of companion buttons which together let you navigate the main screen. I design products for a living, and it was seriously making me angry. Not as much to figure out how to get to things—though that was frustrating at times—but to try to explain it to someone else. I find this "now explain to someone else how to do it" to be the acid test of any UI.
As someone who had his start in product design before switching to computers that is a test that I wish more UI designers would use. I would take the test a little further, if the UI takes more than 10 minutes to explain to you're mother then you've done something wrong.
I realize post this may seem a bit contradictory to my previous post but, there is a difference between good design and just being a cranky old man who doesn't like tech. I am not saying the Tesla is good UI design. (I have not seen it in person yet) but from what I have seen on video looks like at least it isn't bad.
 
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#12
Why the use of ‘mainstream’ in the title? Doesn’t that imply that most customers will be annoyed with this car?

What’s really annoying is the reviewer who assumes that most buyers would have the same opinion as himself. It’s the smartphone age dude. Get over it!