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Huawei Human Machine Interface for Automotive

Brief: The design challenge is to come up with an innovation HMI design works for both end-users and OEM

Timeline: 4 months

Process: Field research, Competitor Analysis, User interview, Product design, User testing.

My Role: This project I team up with 1 well-rounded designer, 1 researcher, 1 tech lead, and 1 visual designer. My responsibility is to work with my team to come up with a product strategy, conduct user interview, product design, prototype, and user testing.

Field research

I wanted to know more about the current stage of the automotive industry and the trend for the next decade. What's the challenge for OEM, tier 1 automotive supplier, and the next generation manufacturing. What can Huawei position itself in the automotive industry to utilize its full power, what's Huawei's advantage? These are the key questions I have when I do the field study.

Competitor Analysis

We pick the competitors from several perspectives. 1. NIO - the next generation manufacturer. 2. Roewe -  a Chinese OEM. 3. Mercedes - a German OEM. 4. Harman - tier 1 automotive supplier. 

The analysis is based on 4 levels: ACES - autonomous, connectivity, electrification, and smart mobility. The analysis helps us to identify which ones are potentical partners and which ones are potential competitors and what's Huawei's strength and weakness in ACES.

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User Interview

The goal is to learn more about the current behavior of before driving, during driving, and after driving from the end users, their pain points, and the purpose of driving a car. At the end of the interview, we will have user prioritize their pain points and have them score on some of the features we came up with. The interviewee lies in a different spectrum, few of them bought a car below 200,000 RMB, most of them from 200,000 - 400,000 RMB, and few of them above 400,000RMB. And most of them are willing to buy an electric car for their next one. According to the field research, we believe the market share of e-car will be increasing and from an innovation perspective, e-car will have more potential. 

After the interview, I list out the total hours spent on each task for each user and group similar ones into 

a persona.

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Product Design

First, we need to figure out the layout of HMI. There are different combinations of screen positioning and each has its own pros and cons. Safety and communication efficiency is our top priority, which one serves the purpose the most will be our top choice.

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Base on the users' pain points, I facilitate a workshop to brainstorm some ideas. One of the tools I used is a storyboard tool by SAP to generate a storyboard very quickly and have more fun. Through the storytelling method, we solve the problems from a more complete user journey. Many of the solutions happen not only inside the vehicle and there are many channels to deliver important messages, through voice, vision, or touch. To decide which channel is the safest and the most efficient way becomes our top priority.

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Then I work mostly on the wireframes of the instrument cluster, head up display, central screen, and some of the app. For the central screen, there are different mode while using. When driving, the most important information is delivered via Head-Up Display or voice to avoid distraction from the driver. When the vehicle is fully stopped, some of the message or function can be shown on the central screen.

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User Testing

In order to get user fully understand our concept, we made videos for each feature. And we set the car interior as close to what we imagine, like building a prototype on iPad pro and putting it on the place we want. For the interview agenda, first I have the driver rate the pain points that we solving and then show our design concept and have him/her rate for the solution. So we can learn if our solutions meet or beyond the driver's expectation. Then the stakeholders can choose which solutions can go to delivery phase.

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