This paper describes a usability evaluation methodology developed and tested at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to assess the intuitiveness and learnability of the interaction between a control-element and display in an early stage prototype of the new generation BMW iDrive in-vehicle information and telematics·system. This was one component of a multi-stage consumer focused design and evaluation process undertaken by BMW during the redesign of the BMW 7 Series human-

machine interface. The output generated using this methodology was utilized by the BMW development team to gain insight into the mental models of US based users of differing age, gender, technology experience, and educational backgrounds. The results contributed to the design team's success in further enhancing the intuitiveness and efficiency of interaction in the re!case version of the product.