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Touch screen VS buttons and Nobs

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by wangjue, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. wangjue

    wangjue Member

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    I am a new model S owner for about 2 weeks. I really like the big touch screen when use it for navigation and back camera and settings. But I found sometime I miss the buttons and nobs in my old car. Especially when I driving high speed on highway. when I want to switch audio source, open/close sunroof and adjust A/C, I always need look at the screen and find the place to touch, which feel unsafe. For my old car, I can always touch and feel and don't need look at the them. Even I can customize the buttons on wheel, but it's not enough.

    Is that just me feeling this way?
     
  2. lunitiks

    lunitiks ˭ ˭ ʽʽʽʽʽʽʽʽʽ ʭ ʼʼʼʼʼʼʼʼʼ ˭ ˭

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    I absolutely hate the touchscreen. Bring the nobs, levers and tiny buttons - especially those with the microscopic, yellow light carved into the middle!
     
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  3. idealsol

    idealsol Member

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    I agree tho I know many do not. Things like the A/C, seat heaters, and the homelink control are not that easy to use or in the case of the homelink, even reach easily. The auto open homelink is great tho
    The A/C is simply more difficult to adjust versus a knob. I know I can also adjust from the steering wheel but still more difficult than a knob, IMO

    Kinda remnds me of Apple, who seems to decide what is right for us. I'm still not used to the seemingly reversed placement of volume controls on an iPad

    At any rate, no major annoyance. Guess sometimes it's form over function
     
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  4. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    I would love a physical homelink button. I don't use auto-homelink because I have a double garage door and both myself and my spouse are using it. A minimal amount of other physical buttons for climate control (changing the venting locations, etc) would also be nice.

    But I get that its a design choice. Same reason why we don't have door pockets, grab handles, or coat hooks. Form over function and all.
     
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  5. wangjue

    wangjue Member

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    I am thinking if the USB port can be used to plug in a keyboard type device and have a customized set of buttons and nobs
     
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  6. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    It is possible to use the steering wheel scroll wheels/buttons for some operations, such as opening/closing the sunroof.

    I used to always use the right scroll wheel to change the audio source. Unfortunately, they removed that feature with 8.0, and it now takes multiple screen interactions to expose the menu bar, select the audio player, change the audio source, and then scroll around on the window to get the specific channel I want or get the media player to play the song that was playing previously.

    Tesla could do a lot more to optimize the user interface and reduce screen interactions. Unfortunately, it appears their top priority is on appearance, and not in usability (or functionality).

    And because the extra screen interactions requires more attention by the driver, it increases the risk of driver distraction and accidents.

    It is possible to design a user interface that looks great, is easy to use (minimize the number of screen interactions) and provides the functionality people expect to see. And since Tesla distributes OTA software updates, when they make those improvements, we'll quickly see them.

    Though, after 4 years of having my P85, I'm still waiting...
     
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  7. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

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    Where ergonomics are defined by enabling driving, I think its harder to defend touch screens in general. I've come to post more on other forums, than TMC, and find it is probably worse for Tesla's sake for complaints like this to be repeated elsewhere. In 2013, I concluded "well, parts bins aren't that deep and they're good at multi-tasking fewer actual buttons (the SW)". It's 2017, the Model S has been so successful, and that Tesla hasn't apparently refreshed its interior controls tells me there's "functional religion" going on and it is becoming more about serving the one goal, of not requiring your eyes even be on the road. Problem I'll say here, apart from compromising the enjoyment of a great low Cg, double wishbone and Bilstein equipped car, is that AP doesn't even work in rain yet and even for those not enjoying driving, driving is still required quite a bit. So, things like dedicated sunroof, homelink, HVAC and media controls would be, to me, an obvious step forward for a mainstream product. Call me an apostate.
     
  8. Snerruc

    Snerruc Member

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    • I prefer the way Tesla does it. Way too many buttons on most cars.
     
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  9. Btrflyl8e

    Btrflyl8e Supporting Member

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    When I look at new car interiors now, it makes my eyes bleed. Way too much going on in there
     
  10. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    I'm happy with Tesla's choices. Most of the things I need to do regularly I can set on the clickwheels and buttons on the steering wheel.

    For anything else, a quick double pull on the little stalk gives me plenty of time to look down (for a few seconds) and find the item on the touchscreen. It's mostly easier to find things in the Tesla menus than buttons on some past cars were, too.
     
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  11. SeminoleFSU

    SeminoleFSU Voluntaryist

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    Me too. Why the hell did they remove this????
     
  12. AcidTest

    AcidTest Member

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    I am just getting a CPO MS, and the touchscreen was probably the biggest hurdle I had in deciding whether to take the plunge or not. While it's certainly the big trend in car interfaces now, I agree with the OP that while it certainly has advantages for maps and info display in general, I much prefer a tactile control that I don't have to give much attention to while driving in order to control radio/media, climate control, etc. Requiring that attention be taken away from the road to perform those actions is not the safest design. Having said that, I have only had limited exposure so far (more than a test drive - 3 day trial) so I'm hoping that voice control will alleviate some of those concerns. I'd still rather have a button that I can quickly press or rotate to do a basic task without having to formulate a specific sentence while holding a button, or wait until I can safely pay attention to a touchscreen which requires finer placement accuracy and could respond in an undesired way to being touched in the wrong place.
     
  13. William13

    William13 Member

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    4.5 years in for me and when I get into an ice I feel like I'm back in my Mom's 1962 Cadillac Sedan de Ville. Buttons are so nostalgic. Childhood was a golden time.

    De gustibus non est disputandum.
     
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  14. Electric1

    Electric1 Member

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  15. Electric1

    Electric1 Member

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    Great. Parts bins are indeed not that deep and parts like knobs and buttons are expensive. Steve Jobs wasn't stupid.

    iPod touches for play music though I'm not cars. Assuming that at least some of the time we are going to be driving these things design to keep our eyes on the road as much as possible should be paramount.

    That said "future looking" companies have convinced the populace that touchscreens are the way to go. We as consumers have decided that the other overriding benefits outweigh the inconvenience and potential safety risk of touch screens in cars and buy them we reinforce that design decisions.

    My Tesla is a great car. Driving it and my BMW I3, I lament that the ergonomics and user interface on my I3 will be hard to leave behind however when it gets replaced by a Model 3.
     
  16. jdw

    jdw Supporting Member

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    #16 jdw, Apr 8, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
    This was what I was choosing between ... the BMW looks like a gaming PC from 1998 to me ... one with stickers all over it. After driving the Tesla, my wife stuck her head in the window of the BMW and asked "what is all this crap"?

    We bought the Tesla.

    I would not mind if Tesla added a customizable page to the screen so you could add things you commonly use in one place though.


    2015-bmw-x6-interior-from-passenger-side.jpg hero-01-LHD.jpg
     
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  17. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    I like the favorites screen. Make it another top row icon, and you can pick anything from anywhere in the center screen to make buttons on it - homelink, driver profiles, HVAC details, audio sources, etc.

    If Tesla wanted to get really fancy, they could make a "most used" page in addition/instead - the system automatically fills that with the things you've gone into the various screens for most often.
     
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  18. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    Many years ago, I bought a Buick Riviera with what may have been the first touchscreen (on a CRT) in a production car. They had eliminated many of the buttons & knobs and replaced them with controls on the display - and it worked pretty well, though the display was tiny compared to the 17" Tesla display...

    The biggest issue with the Model S controls is not the lack of physical knobs and buttons, it is that the user interface has areas where the interface isn't optimized for interactions (which can be measured based on time required to perform an operation and the number of screen interactions required per operation).

    If Tesla did a better job of optimizing the user interface (including using the steering wheel scroll wheels & buttons for frequent commands), the lack of knobs and buttons shouldn't be a big deal...
     
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  19. tchockie

    tchockie Member

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    the screen is cool. but like mentioned above, SOME things are just better when it's kept super simple. garage opening is definitely one. HVAC is another. personally i control AC exclusively through steering wheel control. can't get myself to use the screen for that crap. the map on the other hand is made for a touch screen! if only it wasn't so slow...

    but yea, downside to touchscreen of course is that it requires visual identification when you perform an action. like typing on an iPhone vs blackberry. one is more consistent and muscle memory, but the other is so much more versatile and adaptable based on the task. i have to look down at the screen while i'm pulling into my driveway to open the garage.

    my biggest annoyance right now is the hiding app bar. my routine goes something like this: driving, looking at the road, tap the screen without looking to show the app bar, look at the screen and see it didn't register my touch, touch the screen again, visually watch the app bar show to confirm it worked, tap the app i want, look back at the road, swerve out of the way of incoming traffic because i wasn't looking at the road.

    (jk about the last part, but you get the idea)
     
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  20. lunitiks

    lunitiks ˭ ˭ ʽʽʽʽʽʽʽʽʽ ʭ ʼʼʼʼʼʼʼʼʼ ˭ ˭

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    Totally agree with you except for the jk-part
     
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