Author:

David Cole (@davidrcole) craves simplicity. At home, David is a foster dad to two wonderful preschoolers. At work, he navigates complex business needs to craft simple interfaces. David is a Senior UX/UI Designer in San Diego, CA.

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Proximity in Design: Why I Can’t Use My Car’s A/C

I’m always fumbling with the A/C controls in my car. My daily commute is in hot, sunny Southern California, home of the courteous freeway driver. I can’t afford to take my eyes off the road for too long to find the control I’m looking for. Half of the time when I'm trying to adjust the temperature, I end up blowing my beard off because I’ve spun the wrong dial. If my wife’s in the car with me, I usually resort to asking her to do it for me.

My Car's A/C Controls

There’s a simple design principle that, had it been given greater attention, could have made this needlessly confusing interface much easier to use: proximity.

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