The inspiring “Driving Paradox”

I work in Digital Communication and I’ve worked on the functional & user experience design of websites, mobile applications, advergames, digital signage systems and info kiosks.

I love cars and motorcycles since when I was a child. I remember very well the “procedure” that my parents had to apply first to start our old Fiat 500, the incredible internal design of the Renault 4 of my neighbour and the unintelligible fashion of the Motobecane Mobyx parked in my garage.

back-to-the-future-delorean

I think that cars and motorcycles are the most impressive demonstration of the humankind power of imagination and adaptation. Imagination because who put together the technology necessary for an “autonomous run” of a 4/2 wheels object for me was an artists, not an engineer. Adaptation because driving a car or a motorcycle is one of the most complex mixture of unnatural gestures that we have on the earth.

That’s the point. That’s the Driving Paradox.

Today the interaction pattern of all the motor vehicles is almost the same of the last century. We built faster, safer and bigger cars/motorbikes, but we didn’t really change the way we use them. We still have to deal with pedals, steering, handlebar, gear sticks, buttons and, recently, with touch monitors and mobile apps. But why we can’t drive a car like we drive a Segway? Why can’t we drive using a joystick or some buttons?

I know that beside the vehicles commands design there are a lot technical and safety requirements. But I’m convinced that for innovating both in automotive and other industries, we must apply the Driving Paradox and thinking out of the box. This means that we must analyze processes, activities, gestures and technologies trying to forget our habits and the common market standards.

Designing interactions between humans and machines today is incredible because we have sensors for motions, voice, touch, temperature and soon even for thoughts! We should adapt our design skills to the new design opportunities and disrupt the way we interact with the world that we are creating.

The Driving Paradox is a sort of educational metaphor that remembers me how artificial and complex interaction patterns could become natural and socially accepted. Who can’t drive, but who really understand how big is the cognitive effort required for driving?

That’s inspiring! That’s the inspiring Driving Paradox.

I'm an husband, a Digital Product Manager, a Capoerist and an automotive enthusiast based in the Milan area. This is my personal website where I write about Digital Communication, Product Design, User Experience and Web Marketing. Currently open to new challenges and interesting projects among Italy and Brazil.

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