Vehicle UI and Information-Visualization Design
Figure 6 shows alternative ways of showing tabular organizations of the default display, including the use of arrows, alphanumeric displays, Chernoff faces, symbols depicted with color-coded outlines vs. solid disks of color, and alternative choices for displays. Some displays might be required legally, while others might represent personal preferences. Note that social engineering might come into play. For example, drivers might see displays of their performance or safety record, e.g., trends of exceeding the speed limit, in order to encourage proper behavior. This data might be relayed to gasoline pumps. The driver whose record is good might receive a lower price for gasoline, thus turning performance data into an economic benefit. Considerable refinement and evaluation through focus groups and user testing would determine which approaches were worth further investigation, especially preference and performance differences related to culture, age, gender, education, etc. For example, typical culture/language text-reading directions suggest that display-column sequence or individual symbols might be reversed left-to-right for Europeanlanguage text readers vs. right-to-left-reading languages such as Arabic or Hebrew. Figure 7 shows two alternative situations in which co-branded informational/persuasive communication might be merged and displayed. This alternative shows a presumably required set in the left-most column, a driver-customized set in the second-from-the left column, and a set of "sponsored" signs in the third column. The appearance of these commercial signs indicates the possibility of branding and loyalty systems playing a significant role in what traditionally have been "pure" information displays. For example, when the fuel level reaches a warning or unsatisfactory state, these additional symbols might appear to remind the driver that he/she might also locate the preferred fuel vendor, "refuel" on food, and perhaps seek a preferred roadside reststop. Special coupons or offers might appear to encourage certain behaviors. The right column shows a set of required signs indicating the current driving gear, status of forward lights, and turn indicator. Signs would/could be in dynamic blinking, flashing, or other animated states, including pulsing size changes typical of many computer UI and IV designs. The navigation map indicates that sources of food and fuel would be indicated for both generic and sponsored or "branded"
Figure 7: Vehicle information visualizations with co-branded persuasive communication elements 5 Conclusion Vehicle product/service design requires improved cross-cultural communication in UI and IV development. Large-area, dynamic, relatively low-cost LCD displays make radically different designs possible. Consequently, innovative UI+IV thinking, including cross-cultural analysis and design, and exploration of human factors and visualization issues beyond the traditional concerns of usabil i ty must be considered more integrally in all development phases. Developers wi l l need check-lists, templates, and guidelines. Having a better understanding of syntactic possibilities, the mappings of culture dimensions to UI components, as well as to such dimensions as trust or intelligence, will inform designers, enabling them to make better decisions about usability, aesthetics, and emotional experience, and to design better vehicle UIs and IVs.