Renowned automotive manufacturer Mercedes-Benz came to our engineering design firm seeking to revisit the in-car entertainment experience. The automaker had developed a module to bridge the gap between vehicle and media, but needed an expert perspective on interaction, exterior module design and the overall user experience. Our product development company, Speck Design, and Mercedes-Benz were facing conflicting product lifecycles around consumer electronics and accessories have a short lifecycle, while automotive in general must be slower to change.
We sought to understand the needs, behaviors, and motivations of current luxury car owners with regard to automotive technology and media. Therefore, we explored multiple design languages, recognizing that there was no one-size-fits-all design solution for Mercedes drivers. We also spent time thinking about the mechanics, benefits, and disadvantages of placing the module in the glovebox, center console, or sun visor of the vehicle. Ultimately, we settled on the glovebox, which reduces risk of spills and is infrequently accessed, offering drivers a sense of security.
As part of the project, Speck Design dug deeply into the psyche of luxury car owners. We focused on beauty and perceptions of security, leading us to mesh an elegant design language with an optimal location within the vehicle interior.