Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Experimental front-end mockup

  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2

    Experimental front-end mockup

    I'm new to this and I'm planning to play around with installing a Mac Mini in my '00 Xterra next year, and I was trying to come up with an idea for a front-end. I have no idea if this would work with any of the existing stuff, and I lack the programming knowledge to make it function, but I'm at least excited about the concept.

    For those familiar with the front ends out there now, would this work for modding into an existing setup?


    Main menu screen, with music controls viewable. Options on the menu bar are system settings (Apple logo), Preferences (Vehicle name), Time, Eject CD, music playing (black when music is playing, greyed out when not), and Wi-Fi status (blue when connected, grey when not). Multiple pages of apps would be available if needed.


    Digital Music (iPod) screen. Works more or less just like the iPhone/iPod Touch. Larger buttons make it easier to get to an alphabetic location, and the scroll bar on the right makes it easier to scroll faster if needed.

  2. #2
    QCar Creator Jirka Jirout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    590
    Nice icons, but why would you waste valuable screen space just to display buttons? Why don't you display something useful (inside the buttons if you want)? As a side effect, this layout will not allow you to go from one application/module to another without the menu as an extra step, will it?

  3. #3
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2
    The goal is more to be able to function while moving, when you really can't do more than one thing at a time. Music that's playing would hypothetically always be visible (unless playing a video) no matter what app you're in, and you can access the most frequently used controls from there - skip, pause, next, vol+ and vol-. It's easy to tap a big blue button when you're going 65, and at those speeds I don't need to be doing things like browsing the web and fiddling with the GPS at the same time.

    The design is intended to work much more like the iPhone (in additional to resembling it), using the same usability principles it does, but scaled up to require as little attention as possible. My concern with a lot of the stuff I see out there now is how much attention and babysitting is required of a driver to use it; I want something that's easy to use and familiar, while retaining something very Apple-like, and for me this would be the way to go.

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate reece146's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    ON, Canada
    Posts
    126
    Good on you! Keep the faith regarding usability.

    I think the interface looks good - would be better if it was more consistently coloured/themed. The palette used should be darker IMO. I'm a fan of dark greys and blacks in a car interface for the OEM look.

    I think your main screen icons should be just a touch smaller for better aesthetics. A little more border space would help to keep them differentiated at a glance if that makes sense.

    I agree with Jirka to some extent - maybe a button "ribbon" that collapses from top to bottom or from side to side to navigate to another application makes sense? It's another key press but oh well.

    $0.02

  5. #5
    CarFrontEnd Creator iamgnat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    NoVA
    Posts
    867
    Quote Originally Posted by TremorX View Post
    The goal is more to be able to function while moving, when you really can't do more than one thing at a time.
    Going the minimalist approach like you suggest is one of the things Jirka and I disagree on But he does raise a good point about getting from one function to another.

    Assume for a moment that we have a real navigation solution for Macs in cars. Now you set it up to get you from A to B, but while you are cruising a long stretch of highway you get bored with your current music selection and want to change it. How many actions would it be to switch to the Music function? How many to get back to Nav?

    I am a firm believer that your attention should be on the road (why I am so against the idea of video player functionality in our front ends), but at the same time your interface should be simple and easy enough to use with just glances.

    Music that's playing would hypothetically always be visible (unless playing a video) no matter what app you're in, and you can access the most frequently used controls from there
    You have a few issues here.

    The first is that the text is far to small to read with a quick glance so they are either A) useless because what they say doesn't register or B) dangerous as you give the screen your undivided attention to process the detail while doing 60 down the road.

    Next is that those controls would be unusable. They are too small and too close together for the average finger on the type of touch screens we use in the car to hit accurately. Fingers are fat and cheap TSs are not that accurate.

    Next is the forced waste of space. You are imposing an arbitrary waste of space on the other functions that might be put to better use. By all means make the information and functionality available via an API and notifications so other functions can use it and display it if desired, but don't force it on them.

    while retaining something very Apple-like
    Ahhh. My other disagreement with Jirka
    We haven't gotten into that one in a while

    -dave
    My pathetic worklog.
    CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

  6. #6
    QCar Creator Jirka Jirout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    590
    Quote Originally Posted by TremorX View Post
    The goal is more to be able to function while moving, when you really can't do more than one thing at a time.
    If that is so, then forget the touchscreen or at least implement voice feedback and an alternative way of controlling the software. Ideally you should be able to use the basic functions with your screen off.

    BTW: a touchscreen can be quite tricky when you want to put the display a bit deeper in the dashboard to improve its readability.

    It's easy to tap a big blue button when you're going 65, and at those speeds I don't need to be doing things like browsing the web and fiddling with the GPS at the same time.
    I do not see any "big blue button" for music playback on your mockup. Just a bunch of small buttons on the top bar.

    The design is intended to work much more like the iPhone (in additional to resembling it), using the same usability principles it does, but scaled up to require as little attention
    But it is not an iPhone or an iPod. It is a specific kind of device to be used in very specific situations.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-15-2008, 11:07 PM
  2. Front end chooser ? anyone ?
    By SAScooby in forum Software & Software Development
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 09-23-2006, 09:35 PM
  3. 100% Plugin based Front End
    By custardbomb in forum Software & Software Development
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 10-07-2005, 12:17 AM
  4. Searching for the right Front End
    By ninjatill in forum Newbie
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 09-10-2005, 02:47 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •