Honda e: Strong Visual Appeal, But Some UX Falls short for Key In-car Use Cases, Finds Strategy Analytics

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Repetition of UI-Level Problems Found in 2017 and 2019 In-car Systems

A new expert UX evaluation from the In-vehicle UX (IVX) group at Strategy Analytics has assessed the 2020 Honda e infotainment system. Honda’s digitized cockpit, with a long line of screens extending from A-pillar to A-pillar, is certainly a head-turner.But HMI is only as useful as the tasks it enables, and despite strong visual appeal, the visual/manual and voice-based infotainment UX in the Honda e falls short for some key in-car use cases.

Figure1. Honda E Dashboard Stock Photo (Photo: Business Wire)

The IVX Service report “User Experience Benchmark: Honda e” evaluates the design and usability of the 2020 Honda e’s infotainment system. Strategy Analytics’ infotainment benchmark algorithm derives scores for features based on how well the available features correspond to SA’s existing data on consumer interest in advanced infotainment features.

Derek Viita , Senior Analyst, IVX and report author commented, “Honda’s new take on screen-based infotainment is certainly designed to turn heads: five screens in a straight line along the console, displaying everything from charging information to current speed to side-rear views. The passenger display is used quite cleverly as an extension of the center console display, and for complex tasks such as charge timer setting the passenger display provides an additional “canvas” for visual indicators such as weekly calendar views.”

Continued Viita, “Perhaps most pertinent of all use cases for the numerous large screens in the car, is their capability to provide many types of audio/visual entertainment. They are tailor-made for use whilst sitting at an EV charging station.”

Added Kevin Nolan, VP UXIP , “But despite this bold design statement, several UI-level problems were noted, some of which were also found in SA’s prior evaluations of the 2017 Honda Civic and 2019 Acura RDX systems. Buttons for media source-switching are too well-hidden; the placement of scrollbars mid-screen forces the user to “float” their upper arm in an uncomfortable fashion to move a cursor up and down; and for an advanced touchscreen-based system, several top “connected car” features appear to be notably missing. The lack of more advanced messaging support and easy access to weather radar/information, are surprising omissions.”

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