Mercedes Benz User Experience (MBUX)

Rear Seat Entertainment app

BYOD

Confidential information is omitted and all the features and information described here is in conformance with non-disclosure agreement with the company.

About BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

  • BYOD is a replacement iOS app for a paid tablet device and part of Mercedes Me app family acts as a remote control for infotainment display panels at rear seats.

  • Users can control & manage infotainment features.

  • My responsibility was to lead the Design of the project with consistent UX deliverables in planned sprints. 

Why BYOD?
  • Mobiles have personal and emotional connect with users.

  • Highly personalised and tailored experience integrated with user profiles

  • Deep integration with analytics engine 

  • To match the experience of NTG-7 which has Intelligent access to features and functions based on context to create deeper user engagement.

  • CCR had complex screen navigation and low discoverability with usability problems. It has features hidden beneath the layers of screens without any intelligence to understand the context of use or main scenarios.

  • App for Rear Seat infotainment features would be accessible to everyone with iOS device rather than having a single device.

  • Apps give more flexibility and control and software update the for new features is easier.

 

The Design Team
  • India is Satellite R&D center and largest after Germany and we specialise in getting the product to the market for different car lines and different markets globally, like Europe, china etc.

  • Our design team works in close collaboration with product owners, different R&D centres to translate the their vision to a product for different markets.

  • We also make sure that our solutions conform to Style guides and Design System of MBUX

  • I worked on several projects for MBUX ecosystem, catering to different solutions like NTG-7, AMG track pace app for telemetry

My Role

UX DESIGNER

Team
  • 1 UX Designer 

  • 1 Visual Designer

  • Product manager 

  • Development team

  • Testing team and German counterparts

My Contributions
  • User insights

  • Interaction Design

  • Personas & Scenarios and Customer Journeys

  • Task flows

  • Wireframes & User Flows

  • Visual designs

  • Style Guide enhancement, iconography & thematic changes.

The Challenge

Mercedes is Premium brand and is a self expression, its an emotion. What I mean by this it reflects, luxury, comfort, safety and sophistication which is extension of our user’s personalities.

Three things were essential:

  • To understand the ecosystem of rear seat functions

  • Business need: Premium section is layered with users belonging to different parts of a social pyramid (A, C, E, S, G, Maybach classes). Tailoring an in car experience and outside the car experience so that an S class user is happy with the choice and an A-Class user is looking forward for an upgrade to an S-Class. This is complex and major business need and all the solutions have to conform to this.

  • Conform to this philosophy and essence of what Mercedes Cars stand for as a brand.

  • Conform to the driver distraction guide lines of the company and the design system

  • Craft Reflective design which is concerned with how users rationalize and intellectualize a product according to highly personal and subjective factors. The product has to translate to self -expression of the users.

The Design Process

We as a core design team of Daimler follow Design Thinking dedicatedly to craft usable, aesthetic and luxurious experiences. Based on the context we conduct different design thinking activities. Empathy being the core value, we have to go beyond and craft reflective emotional model of design.

Empathise

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Define

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  • Travel and collaborate with R&D centres for user research

  • Collect and understand user insights.

  • Research and understand the car infotainment ecosystem

  • Create personas of main market segments

  • Derive customer journeys

Ideate

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Test

Prototype

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  • Brainstorming sessions with global teams and stakeholders

  • Task Analysis & Flows

  • Low-Fi User Flows on whiteboard

  • Hi-Fi Wireframes

  • Interactive Prototypes

  • Visual Designs

  • User Flows

  • Collect & Understand usability test results

  • Implement usability improvements

  • A/B Testing

Learning about the users
Empathise

What I did:

  • Collaborated different R&D centres for users interviews and insights.

  • Brainstormed with Product Owner to understand the consumers.

  • Researched and understood the infotainment system and related dynamics of multiple displays on rear seats. 

  • Studied the interview notes and feedback to derive qualitative research points.

  • Empathised and connected with the users and understood the interactions in real world context.

Insight
“I have to customise the  settings every time I am on the back seat”

Users had difficulty in customising settings like sound, lighting  and seat settings and heating from  Rear Seat Display every time they took ride, specially with the family.

“The kids sometimes overindulge, we want them to talk and have fun when we drive to our Parents home together”
Insight

Parents are concerned about kids screen time during weekend getaway rides

Insight
“Sometimes I don’t want to set it up, it’s too much work” 

The rear seat function is overloaded with multitude of features and navigating to customise or select infotainment settings had high cognitive load.

“My playlist is gone, light settings are different. Sometimes I want to read a book or just relax”  
Insight

Users had strong need of personalisation of infotainment settings, specially for the set of features which were frequently used.

Insight
“I have to open and find the episode of the series all over again, it’s annoying.”

Children were busy on weekdays and had relaxation time on weekends. They wanted to continue watching their favourite programmes, Netflix series on weekend family drives.

Personas & Customer Journeys
Define

What I did:

  • Refined personas and archetypes personas from the user research to fit the context

  • Main customer journeys to deduce the touch points.

  • Scenarios to understand the real world context use and UX opportunities.

Main Designs Principles at work

Reducing the cognitive load holistically

Bridge gaps in infotainment experience

Driver Distraction guidelines

App should not interfere with driver settings

A weekend family drive to the parents home is most relevant journey to understand the context and to derive UX opportunities and touchpoints.

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Brainstorming sessions & Low-Fi Prototypes
Ideate

We conducted brainstorming sessions including below exercises

  • Card-sorting to affirm the correct groupings of app features

  • Created Information Architecture

  • Low-fi prototypes and Task flows

  • Understanding the use -case cluster and in-car experience to inform the design iterations

  • Ideas to understand the extent of personalisation and what features to personalise

User Flows and Visual Designs
Prototype
  • Created module wise wireframes.

  • Created holistic User-Flows and happy flows and error handling.

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 Visual Designs
What I Did?
  • Created Visual Designs based on MBUX Design System.
  • Contributed to enhancement of Style Guide
  • Iconography and Thematic changes.
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Usability Improvements
Test
  • Assist Product Owner and collaborate with German research team and UT team.
  • Collect and brainstorm the results of usability tests from different satellite  R& D centres.
  • Implement usability improvements.

  • A/B Testing to inform the designs

Examples below:

Example 1:

Low discoverability and extra clicks (motor load) for frequently accessed radio station list like , Favourites, Popular.

Fix:

Personalised list of frequently accessed stations by user on main screen of tuner with an entry point to all the options.

Example 2:

Business Impact

  • Philosophy of selective monetisation where user can buy the features in the set of custom packages like OTA (Over The Air) updates or ADAS banking  on the power of software.

  •  If a user does not want to any package he or she can simply opt out. This takes care of user needs as well as business needs, opening a proper monetisation channel.

  • Plug and play car infotainment software which is flexible to cater to global markets. Based on the demographics any third party vendors can be replaced, for example Spotify to WeChat.