Telematics means in-car user-oriented software system
Company: HUAWEI Instructor: Zhigang Chen
Related departments: Product Planning, Software Development, Hardware Development
My role: Mainly do design concepts, drew wireframes and uses cases . Participated in design research, graphic design, software development, hardware design.
Project Period: 6 months
This is the first time for Huawei to do something for car industry, so there was no one had ever designed it before in Huawei. I felt so worried because I almost knew nothing about car, and had never driven a car. But at the same time I felt so excited, because I had more freedom in design and there were many experts in our team. The device was not only about interfaces but extremely associated with hardware. Thus, my previous experience of industrial design helped me a lot.
As this was a totally new project for our department, we planed three ways for this design: 1. my design, the main design approach; 2. one proposal from a design company; 3. one proposal from the cooperative telematics company. These three ways were working simultaneously. It made my work very intensive, because I had to make a very detailed and comprehensive project plan to make sure that everyone would deliver their proposal in time, and I had to manage three projects at the same time. Moreover, the time was extremely limited: only three months from zero to a detailed design proposal. My coach tried so hard to help me fight for more time, but there was no space.
Although time was limited, I still wanted to make a good design. So I asked my coach that can we had a user research before our design. “It depends on you. ” he answered. Then there were two researchers came to our team and I did researches with them. We went to two other cities and interviews plenty of users. Other than design research, I attended two famous summits in car industry with team members from other department. In order to share the informations I got and to educate other designers in our department, I shared everything I learned about car industry weekly by email.
During the design process, I learned so many things not only about Telematics, but also about how influential design is. A bad design could even kill people in this case. For example, we chose black background because it is less distracting than a bright background, especially when driving at night. We cut so many functions, such as video, because watching videos when driving is very dangerous. But I found my considerations were never enough. After resigning the job for a year, I learned driving and got a driver’s license. One day, I told my husband that I should apologize to one of the experts in my team, because he was right that I designed too many dangers. My husband said “you should call right now. ” And I did.
After analyzed existing famous music apps in Chinese markets, I drew the wireframes of the new music app.
Instructor: Zhigang Chen
My role: Mainly drew wireframes
Project Period: 2 months
After I went to my workplace, I was introduced to my coach who has been working as an UI designer for more than 10 years. I was sitting next to him. It brought me both the opportunities to ask questions and pressure to work harder. He gave me a week to be proficient about visio. I drew tons of frameworks during the first week. Another two routine works for me were to look for and deeply analyze the apps in app store and google play, and analyze other companies’ UI related patents. My coach gave me a lot of things to read, such as design disciplines for android, iOS, windows phone, and Huawei UI. Another rich resource for me to learn UI design is the “foreign experts”, employees with profound design experiences came from other countries. There were interesting tech talks and workshops every week. It was an opportunity for us to learn from each other.