Design is a concept that eludes most users, especially when it comes to the integration of transportation and personal product design. The design of Apple‚Äôs original iMac in the 1990s brought a visual appeal that was built around a basic home simplicity and has features that were taken right from an infant‚Äôs face, so it felt more than natural to cuddle that home computer.
The iPhone now brings product design into a whole new realm because of the combined nature of viewing and controls that occurs on the touch screen. Since the iPhone has made its way into more an more pockets of the up and coming youth it seems more than natural for what was successful here to be ported over to other formats.
Now Ford is taking a few notes from the success of the iPhone in the design of the Fiesta‚Äôs new dashboard controls, which are going to resemble a cellphone‚Äôs keys much more than they do a traditional set of dashboard knobs and buttons. This does not mean that the Ford Fiesta is going to rely entirely on a touch screen for controls, like the iPhone, but instead it is going to look at the way that this format generally functions.
This is going to start out with a look at what users are going to want in the real world instead of simply what they can have in term of control. This is part of the lesson with the iPhone as many aspects of the general interaction have been simplified since users are not going to need some of the more complicated features at any moment. This is going to be especially true with the controls in the Ford Fiesta as they have to be practical both in use and through controls when the user is driving.
Ideo has come in as a consultant in the design for the Ford Fiesta, which is an interesting choice since it has been notable for its work both with Apple and Palm. Ideo‚Äôs key in the marketplace is in the new field of interaction design, which is a term that has still not made its way into common parlance for the industry.
Through this came universality in controls, which is the same kind of common logic that you are seeing from the smart phone revolution. The controls are then stated to follow the logic presented by ‚ÄúiPod‚Äôs and remote controllers,‚Äù which is one that has conventionally been reserved only for media centered devices.
The specifics of how the Ford Fiesta‚Äôs controls will end up being is not completely certain, but the reality is that it is marking a shift both towards a universality in controls for all electronic devices and an interaction between them. These new controls have now made their way over to the Ford Edge with Ford's MyTouch design, and this owes more than a little to the influence of the iPod. This in combination with Ford's voice control called SYNC you will see that this is going to change the very way that they have looked at customer interaction with their products.
This shift is likely going to bring the iPhone into a closer working relationship with the car itself, and this is standardized as one of the main options through the Ford Fiesta‚Äôs touch screen controls is to initiate your phone. This will also be a move towards a consistent control design among all Ford‚Äôs vehicles, a lesson that has been quickly learned from Apple‚Äôs iDesign.