Menu Search
Jump to the content X X
SmashingConf London Avatar

We use ad-blockers as well, you know. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. our upcoming SmashingConf London, dedicated to all things web performance.

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 Controls1

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.

Further Reading on SmashingMag: Link

Dude, Which One’s My Car? Link

The human brain works by processing visual (and aural) input that occurs in proximity, either spatially or temporally. It then assembles this information into recognizable patterns and assigns meaning to it.

When I’m searching for my car in the parking lot, my eyes take in the size, shape, color and location of the cars I see (input). My brain then determines that I’m seeing an SUV, a truck, and 27 Honda Civics (patterns). Finally my brain tells me which vehicles are not mine until I “recognize” the pattern that is my car (meaning).

Tyrannosaur Attack Link

This pattern-making ability also causes our brains to assign meaning and create relationships even when they may not actually exist. In the film Jurassic Park6, a Tyrannosaurus Rex grabs a smaller dinosaur in its teeth and shakes it around, killing it. The sound of this attack could not be recorded while shooting the scene (dinosaurs are, much to the chagrin of every school-age boy, still very much extinct). And so sound engineer Gary Rydstrom7 set out to create a sound that would convincingly sell the on-screen images.

Tyrannosaur Attacking Prey8

So what sound recording did Rydstrom use to emulate a seven-ton predator ripping through the flesh of its prey? None other than his own Russell Terrier, Buster, playing with a rope toy! If you watch the scene knowing this, the effect is rather cheesy and unbelievable. But for the unsuspecting viewer, the brain willingly interprets the simultaneity of visual and aural inputs as indicating relationship and meaning. We see a dinosaur eating and we hear a simultaneous sound. Our brain tells us “this is the sight and sound of a T-Rex eating its prey.”

Proximity Without Purpose Link

In my car, as I’m trying to determine which button to press or dial to spin, my brain is analyzing the proximity of these various controls to discern a pattern which will help me make sense of their functions.

Let’s take a closer look:

A/C Controls with Function Labels9
Top Row (left to right): Air temperature, front window defrost, fan speed. 2nd Row: Fan off, fan mode (chest, feet, etc), A/C power. Bottom Row: Re-circulate, rear defrost, rear (back seat) fan, outside temperature indicator.

The controls are a combination of push buttons and dials that affects two basic functions: fan speed and air temperature. Each of the three control groups is comprised of one dial and one or two buttons. My pattern-seeking brain assumes that the buttons and dials are placed and grouped in a manner that has meaning. Unfortunately for my brain, in this case they aren’t.

Here’s a common two-step process I perform to cool down my car: I first turn on the A/C (step one) and then adjust the temperature (step two). To achieve this goal, I must:

  1. press the right bottom button and
  2. spin the left dial.

However, while avoiding collisions with tailgaters and cell-phone talkers, I often perform the wrong sequence. I:

  1. press the right bottom button (1, correct) and
  2. spin the same dial (2, incorrect).

By spinning the wrong dial (accidentally changing the fan speed) I end up with a hot jet blast to the face.

Reinforce Relationships Link

A very simple reorganization of my car’s controls would reinforce the relationships between controls and make the entire system easier to use. By placing all the controls that adjust fan speed, and all those that adjust air temperature close together, the position of each control will have assigned greater meaning and users’ overall mental effort will be decreased. The sum of these two factors (increased meaning and decreased mental effort) will result in greater user success.

Optimized A/C Control Layout10
Controls are grouped by function to decrease mental effort and increase meaning.

In this revised layout, the controls’ proximity to the others reinforces their relationships. The left control group can be spun to adjust fan speed or pressed to turn the fan completely off. The right control group can be spun to adjust air temperature or pressed to further adjust the temperature (top button for automatic temperature, bottom button for A/C).

With these changes, my two-step process for cooling down the car is simplified. Step one is to turn on the A/C by pressing the bottom right button. Step two is to adjust the temperature by spinning the same dial.

Keeping Our Beards On Link

Understanding our brains’ fondness for creating meaning and patterns through proximity will help us create more intuitive interfaces and designs. If we take time to think about the way elements are positioned in relation to one each other, our interfaces will seem easier and more natural to our users. And nobody’s beard will get blown off.

Further Reading Link

(ik) (vf)

Footnotes Link

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. 14
  15. 15

↑ Back to top Tweet itShare on Facebook

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.

  1. 1

    Joel Sutherland

    April 26, 2011 4:55 am

    I think you’re mostly polishing a turd here. The circular buttons whose spinning is sometimes meaningful is such a bad idea that I don’t know if any improvement will help the fundamental issue.

  2. 2

    Contrary to popular belief A/C != temperature control. It simply conditions the air. Combine it with a high temp and you can de-fog your windows like a champion (most cars kick on the A/C automatically when you enable the defrosting fans).

  3. 3

    Himanshu Kapoor

    April 26, 2011 4:26 am

    Car controls are discussed as typical case in most usability books (remember, The design of Everyday Things by Don Norman). Your article is a good refresher. I do have similar problem with my car stereo (Sony make), where I have to read a manual to adjust various functions. However, AC control in both of my cars (Suzuki Alto and Hyundai i10) are extremely simple and can be operated even without looking at the dashboard. I sympathize with you as your Car AC controls looks quite stupid.

  4. 4

    Jayman Pandya

    April 26, 2011 4:43 am

    Very nice co-relation… good read… :D

  5. 5

    Well, get a car with controls on steering wheel and there you go, just look at the top control display and you can follow the traffic while controling the airco. In few days you’ll know how many left/right presses or up/down controls are needed in order to reach every control, even without looking at the display and there you go :) A Japanese replacement: Mazda6. Try it.

    Good article, though :)

  6. 6

    It hurt my head just reading about using those controls.

  7. 7

    I think your premise about the buttons is wrong from a usability standpoint. How often do you change the air speed as compared to the temperature? Generally, the temperature is sent once (coldest/hottest), and you adjust fan speed to suit. In this case, the current layout is ok – turn on, adjust fan speed on same dial, so no need to move your hand at all. However, it would have been better to put it on the driver side, not the passenger side (but maybe the layout was made from Japan/British roads in mind). Further, what about muscle memory? I can understand making this mistake a few times, but eventually you will remember which is which, even without viewing I think. My car doesn’t have a great layout, either, but after a few times you learn to adjust without looking.

    Also completely agree with Joel – 3 circular buttons right next to each other, each the same diameter, same extension from the face plate, no visible knubs to distinguish them, etc – just asking for problems.

    • 8

      I do agree with the “muscle memory” behaviour. Even the interface is incorrect, the brain will learn from mistakes and will adapt to correct these after several attempts. It would be better if the article included some website examples about proximity design within the article instead inside the Further Reading section.

  8. 9

    This would also be a good example for localization. I expect you (in southern california) never use the front window blowers, right? Then why is it placed in the middle just as big as the a/c button. In my case: I would use the a/c and front blower just as much (during summer of winter in holland). In Alaska the a/c will never be used…

    In your case (or any case) climate control would be very convenient… just set a temperature and leave it.

    • 10

      Jeroen – that’s a very cool idea, but i can explain why: cost.
      It’s cheaper to manufacture more of the same, not more things that are different. That’s the reason all ATMs have braille – it’d be expensive to make 99 that didn’t and one that required new machines and another assembly line (source: Robert H Frank’s The Economic Naturalist)

      That applies to web, too. It takes more time to localize an interface to a given set of users – either based on authentication or IP address. And that’s why “out of the box” is cheaper, and crappier.

  9. 11

    Interesting read. Thanks :)

  10. 12

    Jorick Schram

    April 26, 2011 5:56 am

    Why don’t you leave the A/C on at your most comfortable setting? I have mine set at 19 degrees (Celsius that is), which is comfortable for all outside temperatures.
    You may use a little bit more fuel, but you keep your A/C in better shape thus reducing maintenance costs..

    In the end you’ll save a lot of money (repairing the A/C isn’t exactly cheap) and you can keep your eyes on the road, where they belong :)

    • 13

      Jorick, you’re confusing the author’s manual AC system with automatic climate control. Climate control allows the driver to set a cabin temperature (usually shown in degrees on an LED/LCD) and the car will automatically blow hot or cold air to reach this.

      With the manual system you need to set the temperature of the blown air. So in summer you’ll want it set to cold, and in winter to hot. As the system has no thermostat it can’t adjust itself so the driver needs to alter it depending on the weather.

      • 14

        Jorick Schram

        April 26, 2011 6:33 am

        You’re right. I stand corrected ;)

        I assumed the author’s car was equipped with an ACC because it has an Auto-mode on the temperature dial, which is not often found on manual A/C’s.

  11. 15

    it’s a mazda, isn’t it? the controls pretty much look the same as in my ’04 mazda 3. ;)

  12. 16

    Bohnna Chhim

    April 26, 2011 6:20 am

    Sorry for the off-topic, but what car is that?

  13. 17

    Aamir Afridi

    April 26, 2011 6:34 am

    Good read, and totally agree wid u :)

  14. 18

    But you don’t have a beard! However, a good illustrative example which even I can follow.

  15. 19

    I hope people at BMW are reading this. iDrive still needs a lot of work!

  16. 20

    Chris Raymond

    April 26, 2011 6:42 am

    I am so glad to have a Vibe, which has commonsensical controls; if I had to drive your car, I would have crashed by now.

  17. 21

    My Kia Rondo has a fantastic feature that makes this all moot: auto temperature control. With the “auto” feature turned off, I have a “mode” button that lets me select where the air is blowing from (face, feet, dash, etc), a fan speed dial, and a temperature dial (between 17 degrees celsius, and 32 degrees). With the auto feature turned on, the “mode” and “fan speed” options are ignored, and the car simply figures out what mode it needs to accomplish the temperature request.

    Then all I do is simply dial a temperature in half-degree increments. Almost year round, I can simply leave the temperature at 20 degrees. In the summer, the A/C will run to do that, in the winter, the heat will run. If the window is frosted over, it will automatically switch to defrost mode until the temperature is warm enough to switch back to feet. If I go into a heatwave and spin the dial down to the lowest setting, 17, it will blast the full A/C on me to cool me down. If I go up just half a degree to 17.5, it will cut everything back and circulate the air indirectly (rather than just blasting my face) to make the temperature right.

    99% of the time, I just dial a temperature, and within 30 seconds, the car is exactly the temperature I want. It’s luxury, I tell you… :)

    • 22

      Robert Barth

      April 26, 2011 9:31 am

      That’s how the author’s works too, I’m sure, he just never read the manual, I surmise. Witness: the auto button on the left knob.

  18. 23

    Great article, thanks for the insight!

  19. 24

    Great, great, GREAT post.

    Good design should ALWAYS make things easier.

  20. 25

    Craig Anthony

    April 26, 2011 7:00 am

    I can’t believe you call SoCal hot. I chuckle. Try living in the South for a summer… then you’ll know hot.

    Nice post. I think that most instrument panels demonstrate terrible layout. I mean, just look at some of the turn-signal / wiper blade stalks that come off of the steering wheel. What a cluster.

  21. 26

    Joshua Schnable

    April 26, 2011 7:49 am

    I had a rental Mazda 5 this past weekend and experienced the same thing. Even stranger – this is a completely different layout than the Mazda 6 control panel.

    1 knob to control temp, 1 selection knob to select fan position, 1 selection knob to control fan speed. A separate button to turn A/C on and off. Why mess with something that’s worked for a long time. The knobs without icons or indicators (maybe there are indicators, but they are placed far away from the knob).

  22. 27

    Wow, wow!!! This is amazing! Incredible! Briliant! Great article!

    /* avoiding censorship */

  23. 28

    These controls look a lot like those of my 2010 Mazda 5. They just plain suck. They already sucked in the 2007 model, and Mazda managed to make matters even worse by randomly moving functions in the new series, nevermind muscle memory. I think about microwave ovens every time I need to adjust the settings (which is *daily*, here in Quebec).

    Your grouping would make a lot more sense. A pity Mazda engineers will never hear of this.

  24. 29

    Robert Barth

    April 26, 2011 9:26 am

    In your redesign, you moved the most commonly used dial (the temperature dial) furthest from the driver, which is probably bad. Furthermore, in most vehicles with automatic climate control, you just need to leave the a/c button on and adjust the temperature. The hvac system will figure out whether it needs to run th e a/c compressor or not to get to your desired temperature.

    • 30

      Good points about proximity to the user. I was thinking primarily about controls’ proximity to one another. You’re right in saying that the most commonly used controls would be ideally placed closest to the driver!

    • 31

      Just because it’s the furthest from the driver doesn’t mean that’s true everywhere – remember that 1/3 of the world is right hand drive! (Although being the only mph country which has km/h on the speedo and being one of only two countries on the continent which drive on the left we get a fair bit of unique cockpit stuff anyway)

      Depending on the cockpit layout the easiest control to get to can be the furthest from the drive – for example my fan speed control (the one I use the most) is the furthest left (i.e. furthest from the driver) but this is no big deal as the hand spends a fair amount of the down there anyway changing gears. The least used control (position) happens to be nearest to the driver but also the hardest to access (then again being 1.93 tall in a small car does mean my legs foul the centre console at times).

      The best example is trying to control the entertainment system on a BMW from the drivers seat – a counter-intuitive dial/joystick you are expected to control with your left hand – no wonder motoring journos over here generally dislike it!

  25. 32

    Yes, I’m always surprised at how bad user interface design is in most car dashboards. Every time I rent a car it takes a solid 10-15 minutes to figure out how to use the heat/air and audio options, not to mention cruise control, lights, etc.. It seems like most car companies are just leaving the dashboard layout to the same engineers who do the programming behind the scenes. Hire a UX person!

  26. 33

    All good points and definitely a good rearrangement of controls. However, I think the original design is based on the perceived frequency of use. I would guess that the original designers figured you’re much more likely to turn on/off the fan and adjust the overall temperature, than turn on/off AC and adjust fan speed. Although with that in mind, the fact that AC/fan controls are on far right instead of middle doesn’t make sense, so it’s a bad design in any case. :)

  27. 34

    Good article, and you’d think that they would make things a lot easier. I’ll share my experience as some of the previous commenters have alluded to their specific car experiences.

    I drive one of those Honda Civics that you made a crack about (don’t worry no offense taken lol) and it is a 90’s model, and I find it to be one of the easiest climate controls I’ve experienced. Perhaps the years of owning the car has made it even easier for me, but I’ve never struggled with it. Everything is in it’s right place, and I can control it without taking my eyes off the road, plus I drive a manual transmission!

    The great thing about the controls is that there aren’t any spinning circles. As someone mentioned earlier, I think that they hinder accurate control. The Off-4 setting on my car seems accurate especially when you can feel the tension when sliding, and setting it into place. I’m also in freezing cold Canada, and it’s a small car, so I’m constantly playing with the controls because I either have a frozen car, a fogged up car, or a roasting bucket on wheels in the humidity of summer lol.

    Just my input!

  28. 35

    Really great article, simple way to explain the importance of proximity in design

  29. 36

    Tomáš Kapler

    April 26, 2011 10:51 am

    Do you think that you would use it or that you will still say it to your wife?

    But I agree – car controls are stupid in generally any car i have been using in my live and it is geting worse and worse as number of controls increasing. We will need someone like Apple to do it.

    BTW even your concept is far from optimal, but i understand that you wanted to keep the same number and type of controls. E.g. imo front/rear should be on the same button, Mode should be a switch or button per zone, if the second one cannot be spinned (as there are no arrows), it should be buttons etc.

    I like todays combining of everything using big screens (e.g. using ipad), where you select e.g. A/C and you will see kontextual a/c controls, then when you select navigation, you see navigation controls and map etc.

    P.S.: but i understand that car controls are just an example of design.

  30. 37

    So glad to see that I am not the only person who does this :-)

  31. 38

    Heh, examples like this really make me appreciate luxury cars even more. In our ’98 A6, we once set the temperature to a cozy 23C, and thats it. Never do we have to mess around with the fan speeds, holes out of which the air comes etc.

    I mean literally we can go for a year without even touching your climate controls – in the winter it automatically heats up while set to 23, during the summer it cools down and automatically turns on the AC, again at the same 23…

    Honestly don’t understand why most companies insist on these kind of retarded manual controls which just add complexity and a ton of unneeded pains in the ass, all for absolutely minimal cost savings.

  32. 39

    Great read!! Maybe you wouldn’t have this problem if you were in a cooler climate!

  33. 40

    Interesting read, after reading I immediately went to youtube to watch the jurrasic park scene…

  34. 41

    Hey man you have no beard at all! Don’t lie to us again….

    But do write good articles like this :)

  35. 42

    Nice article, but there has been an example relating to web design & development. Just a suggestion.

    And thanks again for the relaxing article.

  36. 43

    My bmw (E36) has a similar problem… to turn on the aircon, there is a switch in front of the gearlever..while all other controls are on the dash :S

    so every often any kind of designer has a bad day i guess.

    • 44

      @Peter, one of the tricks I use often is when I want an extra boost of power when accelerating, I will turn off the AC. Putting the AC near the gear shift allows me to downshift and turn off the AC quickly. Mostly, I use it for getting onto a highway. It could more importantly be used to pass on a two-lane road.

  37. 45

    Francesco Bertelli

    April 27, 2011 6:20 am

    I’m not totally convinced that applying the proximity rules always is a win. Real life design is different from books theory and maybe they placed the AC temp and Fan together on the left because was easier for the driver to use them, given the driver access to those button more frequently than others. Bottom line I would give th ebenefit of the doubt to that dashboard.

  38. 46

    William Miranda

    April 27, 2011 9:33 am

    David, you are right on the money here. I have a similar proximity problem with the controls on my Whirlpool fridge, compounded by poorly-designed icons that imply the opposite of their intended function (at least to me). But, the fridge came with the house or else I would have chosen another model.

  39. 47

    Christopher Doll

    April 27, 2011 11:42 am

    I’ve been annoyed at the most recent AC controls in later cars. Not because I’m old (although I’m about to sound like it), but because they’ve become unnecessarily difficult to manage without staring at them – which this article has pointed out.

    If the driver cannot easily change these very simple options by touch alone, quickly, accurately, and repetitively, then this should’ve been considered a poor interface design.

    My most recent vehicle, a very simple Jeep Wrangler (2006), uses the antiquated (but still very effective) 3-Knob UI metaphor. Fan Speed, Temperature, and Vent Options (which simplify matters by including AC options in the last knob). These controls are familiar, easy to manage by touch alone, feedback doesn’t require looking at an LCD screen (you can hear, or feel the results of all of them), and they’re simple to learn. Aside from maybe a specific AC on/off pushbutton for more complicated HVAC arrangements, what more do you need?

    I’m still not convinced that anyone needs, or wants, to set their internal car temperature at a specific degree F/C.

  40. 48


    April 27, 2011 11:59 am

    Good points!! Very helpful for designing websites. I’ll keep this concept in mind!

    …And, now I want a beard.


  41. 49

    I have a 2010 Mazda5 with these exact controls. Turning on the AC is easier than you describe. You simply press Auto and then adjust the temperature with the spinner around that button. The car figures out how to do the rest (whether the AC needs to be on or not). The AC button only applies if you want to control the fan speed. The problem is labeling and the interaction model — there is a separate mode where you control the fan speed instead of the temp (like old school car AC units).

  42. 50

    why not just shave your beard off?

  43. 51

    Very cool post. Ignoring the debates over general usability issues in cars, I think you’ve raised some valuable points: 1. Usability practices aren’t restricted to a digital medium. 2. The fundamental rules of design are universal 3. Proximity is one of the easiest usability issues to fix.

    Four of the fundamental rules of design which I learned a while back are Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity. I’ve always thought them to be rules for usability, too. …yes I know that there’s more to it – but I think you’ve made something at least…not aggravating if you’ve followed those rules.

    I’ve seen the contrast problem on elevators: why is the door open button the same size as the other ones? The elevator wouldn’t shut in people’s faces if I could find it. Why is it that some bathrooms have auto flush toilets – but no auto-sinks, or hand dryers – an annoying little repetition problem right there.

    It’d be cool see see more posts on design in the real world…

  44. 52

    good stuff

  45. 53

    Christopher Doll

    April 29, 2011 9:24 am

    I shared this on my FB page and it generated quite the discussion.

    There are people that love dialing in a specific temperature, and let the car’s HVAC system work to maintain it. Others, like me, just want to turn a knob into a specific temp zone by feel and not worry about it (the dial with the red to blue ramp).

    The best solution may be a combination of both. Let the control be an analog style knob, but one that sets a specific temp that you can see if you choose. Then the HVAC works to maintain that temp.

    I find the jog shuttles on these newer controls too fiddly. Plus you have to know what a specific temperature feels like.

  46. 54

    Really there should just be one button. On/Off. The car can be pre-programmed with default settings as to when it should be producing cold air, or when it should be producing warm air. The user turns on the A/C and depending on the difference of the ambient temperature and the ‘ideal’ temperature the temperature of the output air and the intensity of the fan is automatically set. Once the A/C begins to ‘over do’ the cooling or heating the user would logically turn off the A/C. The computer in the A/C would then learn the user’s ‘ideal’ temperature through many of these On/Off cycles and eventually never have to be turned off.

  47. 55

    What’s being suggested here is pretty minor and while it may provide a slightly better solution to a few, may also cause an inconvenience to others.

    I’m not trying to be a party-pooper here but if we are talking design improvement, why not redesign the whole thing and come up with an improved concept.

    Given the current design, changing the AC settings before leaving the parking lot or while stopped at a light would probably be the wisest thing to do.

  48. 56

    Insightful read, good choice of topic to reiterate the importance of proximity in good design, as this is what gives good design meaning and purpose, thanks David.

  49. 57

    Peter Wiley

    May 2, 2011 8:59 am

    The controls in the photo look like a bad copy of those in my 2006 Honda CR-V which are excellent. The CR-V has three dials too, but they are organized well. Dial one is just for fan settings off to low to high as the dial turns. The one button in the ring is clearly fan-releated and turns access to outside air on and off. Dial two just adjusts cold to hot — Its one related button turns the AC on or off. Dial three just directs the output of the heating or cooling to various vents, feet, defrost, etc. and all the choices are shown clearly with glifs on the dial . . . to need to “page though” until one feels the right setting.

  50. 58

    I have my digital photo camera since 2008, and still often press wrong buttons, also having more than one function on each button doesn’t help either.

  51. 59

    Stefan Artmann

    May 3, 2011 12:54 am

    Very good article! It shows that some designers forgot a very important principle: “form follows function”.

  52. 60

    I <3 my Mazda5, but the interface does indeed suck. Also, I'll never know why they did not put a control up front for the driver to turn on/off the overhead lighting. I e-mailed them about it, but I'm sure that went all the way to the top. Not. ;)

  53. 61

    My Range Rover Sport 2010 (GCC/UAE Specs) has the Audio system circle button, and car ignition circle button an inch and a half away from the steering wheel. Its a usability catastrophe and it could kill people if they hit the wrong button on the highway. Quite a few times while driving, I almost pushed the wrong one, and realized how scary that was. I thought ofcourse range rover would have made sure while the car is driving, if someone hit the engine off button, nothing would happen because then this massive 5.0 v8 engine would have no brakes and no steering, and you could be on a highway. I tried this on a small alley, at a slow speed. I held the power button in gear while driving, for 2 seconds, and the engine went off. Sometimes the audio power button doesnt hit right away, either, so you have to hold it down for a second or two. I wanted to write a blog post, or tweet about it. Range rovers ux is poor in general, but this, this needs a newspaper article.
    I tried linking a pic before, but my comment wasn’t approved.

  54. 62

    I agree with Sanook.

    This car is equipped with automatic climate control. Two functions you are going to use the most are:
    1. Temperature setting
    2. OFF button.

    The A/C button is almost never used in cars with auto climate control, because A/C turns on/off by itself as needed.

    So the car designer deserves a little more credit on this for not grouping the buttons by features, but rather by its usage pattern.

  55. 63

    Change your car, Dude.

    My car (Mazda 6 Wagon) has A/C button on the same wheel as temperature Up/Down controler.

  56. 64

    Got the same dials in my car as well, Mazda 5. Both, my wife and I, are still puzzled over the functionality of our AC. One could say ‘read the darn manual’, but guess what – never needed one for my iPad.

  57. 65

    I loved this article! I’m sure all my friends will appreciate it just like I did!

  58. 66

    So exits everywhere..:)

  59. 67

    you can send a piece of advice to the car company to improve the design.

  60. 68

    I’m so glad theres others out there who can’t believe that these things are still made so badly.

    I often (geekily) point out how the hobs on a cooker are arranged in a square but the dials are arranged in a line. Even after years of owning the same cooker, you still have to look at the symbols on the dials. ..Why don’t the dial arrangements match the things they control!?

  61. 69

    Take a look at the new Renault Laguna’s AC interface. It’s a piece of craftmanship very easy to use.
    I love it!


↑ Back to top