Screens are slowly usurping traditional gauges, but automakers still insist on using analog approximations despite the freedom of a digital canvas. The designers at Ustwo took a hard look at exactly what drivers need and came up with a solution, and it's brilliant, if not exactly sexy.

Ustwo, which the Verge points out is best known for Frank Underwood's favorite game, Monument Valley, than its work in user interface design, put together a massive tome (literally, it's an ebook) on how in-car interfaces could be reworked for the modern era. Some of the designs are more focused on EVs, but the lessons learned from their research is clear: keep it simple and contextual.

The key is something Ustwo calls "adaptive hierarchy", where the mode of the car and the needs of the driver dictate what's shown on the display.

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Say you're parked. You don't care about speed, so there's no need for a speedometer. Instead, the system pops up the distance to your next destination and integrates that with a visualization of how much juice you'll have when you arrive.

The flavor of the design is a bit staid, particularly compared to the over-the-top, branded graphics most automakers employ on dashboard. But it's pure function over form, taking everything from typography to scale, color, angle, and layout into account, making it glanceable and less distracting.

But Ustwo thinks we can do better, and is offering up the concept code to anyone that wants to use it, posting it on Github for people to remake and tweak on their own. Maybe Audi will take them up on it.


Contact the author at damon@jalopnik.com.
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