Flat design in a car: What could possibly go wrong?

Today I came across this article on The Next Web. Somebody thought he was smart enough and decided to bring flat design to a car. While my personal opinion on how ugly, boring, impersonal, dead, plain, and unimpressive flat design looks is not the matter here, I can’t stress enough how insanely stupid that idea is.

Honestly, ever since the first iOS7 was introduced, people have been more uncertain than ever about what they can tap on the screen and what not. And while it annoyed me to no end, I thought flat design might adjust and start develop more visual cues to help the user out.

It didn’t.

So? Who cares? It’s better than that realistic design shit full of textures” I hear you think and you’d be entitled to that. The thing is: Now designers think they need to bring more ambiguous design to an interface where confusion might actually cause an accident or even kill a person.

flat car dashboard interface

I’m not exactly a fan of touch screens in vehicles since you can’t operate them by touch (irony, much?). You have to actually look at the screen and keep looking while you use the interface (since there’s no physical response of the screen). Now designers think they need to remove the ‘dated‘ realistic design to replace it with something more ‘minimalistic‘. The fact that flat design not only removes ‘clutter‘ but also removes undeniable clarity of communication seems to be irrelevant. The driver operating the car which is traveling at 60mph clearly needs more distractions.

I drive 1000km every week for work; I’m very aware of what can happen when your eyes are off the road for only a split second at the wrong time. Do we really need an interface that might introduce even more occurrences where the driver’s attention is away from the traffic for longer than is absolutely necessary?

PS: Facebook? Twitter? Seriously? What the hell is that stuff doing front and center in a car’s dashboard?


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Ronny is a freelance frontend developer with a wild passion for creativity and a relentless hate against flat design. Ronny spent years as a Flash developer before moving to HTML5 and rediscovering fun and happiness.

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