BMW X3 User Interface


[bmw x3 dashboard control]

The above is a control on the dashboard of the 2007 BMW X3. Left for cooler? Right for cooler? What were they thinking??

I wouldn't be complaining if this were the only bad interface in this vehicle. But it isn't. The menu hierarchy and controls for the GPS system are a travesty of user interface design. I won't bore you with the details, but it has one of the worst interfaces I've used in a long time.

And then there's the control for the panoramic sunroof. I'm pretty sure I need to draw out the state diagram for that control to figure out exactly how it works.

Two words, BMW: USABILITY TESTING.


Comments:

Send me the car and I'll work it all out for you ;-)

Posted by Ceri on June 09, 2007 at 08:34 PM EDT #

I bet that's a localisation problem - they installed the part for right-hand drive cars in a left-hand drive model. (or, as you say, it's just plain bad design, I'm trying to give them the benefit of the doubt!)

Posted by Tim Foster on June 09, 2007 at 11:18 PM EDT #

How about you think a little before posting - when you move the dial all the way to the right, towards the red square, the white hash-mark disappears behind the panel. When this happens, how is the user supposed to know what position the knob is in, if not for the red marks on the dial? The red marks tell the driver that it is all the way on the heat side. It couldn't be any other way. Think about it. Are you really so arrogant to think because you don't understand it, it's bad design?

Posted by bmw enthusiast on June 15, 2007 at 02:45 AM EDT #

Thanks for your post. You apparently misunderstood my point. Once you turn the dial it is apparent what the markings mean. My point was that when you look at it in the rest/neutral position, it is confusing because you see both a blue and a red indication on both the left and right side.

I notice you didn't have anything to say about the GPS interface. :-)

Posted by guest on June 15, 2007 at 02:55 AM EDT #

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