Monday, January 12, 2015

Ford recalls SUVs because of bone headed User Interface design

Someone put the "Off" button right next to the shift buttons:
Ford has issued a recall for its Lincoln MKC SUVs, because drivers trying to operate the gearshift are shutting the car down by mistake.

As computers invade the world of motor vehicles, and car-makers replace the old ignition key assembly with a start button, it seems they're having to relearn the basics of interface design.

In the case of the Ford recall, the salient detail is: “don't put the 'gearshift sports-mode button' next to the start-stop button”.
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I'd add some snark, but this comes pre-snarked.  There are pictures at the link.

9 comments:

Old NFO said...

Engineers, they don't get reality...

deadmandance said...

Man, if I was designing something like this I'd put at least some of the buttons up across the top of the windshield so I pretend I was flying a jet. And they wouldn't be buttons but switches with flip up missile covers. And instead of "start" it would say "ignition", instead of "sport mode" it would be "afterburner" etc.

NotClauswitz said...

It wouldn't happen at Boeing, maybe Airbus though. My ex-BIL (another one of my sister's disasters) was a Detroit Auto-Engineer-Guy, and visibly hyphenated like that too - as far as I can tell they're a "different" kind of engineer from the rest. He and his type remind me of why/how Detroit is in ruins...

Sherm said...

I recall hearing that they had to do a redesign early on with the F18 (Boeing) because a switch for the flaps was next to a switch that retracted the landing gear. Pilots were dumping their jets on the ground when they accidentally retracted their landing gear while taxiing. A sensor to detect if there was weight on the gear took care of the problem.

Archer said...

The Mrs. and I saw the placement of the "Start/Stop" button (seriously? "Start"? What is this, a MS Windows interface?), and had a good chuckle. It's an idiotic place to put it, just asking for trouble.

If it were me, I might keep it a button - bright red and square - and use the flip-up cover suggested above, like something from NASA.

Or another new nearly-idiot-proof innovation that goes a step further and makes it harder for unauthorized persons to operate the ignition. I think they called it a "key"....

Goober said...

Wow. Almost looks like you could do the same thing adjusting the stereo. That button is really in there .

Rick C said...

" "Start/Stop" button (seriously? "Start"? What is this, a MS Windows interface?),"

What's so weird about that? The way you start your car normally is to turn the key to the start position. Don't take my word for it, go out and look, it's printed right on the cylinder.

MSgt B said...

The gear shift "knob" (seriously, it's a knob you turn like the radio dial) in my Ram 1500 is right next to the fan knob.
After backing out of a parking spot, I still occasionally reach down and crank the fan up to full blast.

NotClauswitz said...

So I stand corrected about Boeing. I wish I could have gotten my Great Aunt's push-button Plymouth.