Renowned automotive manufacturer Mercedes-Benz came to Speck Design 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. Mercedes-Benz and Speck Design faced conflicting product lifecycles around consumer electronics; accessories have a short lifecycle, while automotive in general is slower to change.
We sought to understand the needs, behaviors, and motivations of current luxury car owners with regard to automotive technology and media. 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 vehicle glovebox, center console, or sun visor. 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. Our research led us to focus on values relating to beauty and perceptions of personal security, guiding us toward a solution that meshed an elegant design language with an optimal location within the vehicle interior.