More and more automakers are eliminating physical buttons in the interiors of their new models and this is a trend that not everyone likes. Sure – it’s cheaper to just place a large screen, integrate all the controls in a menu, and call it a day but customers continue to give negative feedback on the ergonomics that this type of layout offers. A longtime design expert now also joined this popular opinion in a recent interview.
Jony Ive was the one who designed the original iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad but left Apple in 2019 to form his own design firm, LoveFrom, along with industrial designer Marc Newson. I definitely have the expertise and knowledge of what consumers like and don’t like when it comes to infotainment technology.
The designer recently spoke at a panel session at a conference in the US with Apple CEO Tim Cook and Laurene Powell Jobs. I’ve stated that the demand for more physical buttons will soon start to grow and automakers may have to rethink their strategy as far as interior design is concerned. And, frankly, we totally agree – we need physical controls for at least a selection of core functionality and this isn’t going to change any time soon.
“I think there’s tremendous affordability with interfaces like, say, multi-touch. But we’re still physical creatures. I think, potentially, the pendulum might swing a little bit to have interfaces and products that would take more time and be more physically involved.” The panel moderator even asked me what his own car design looked like, but the designer just said, “I can’t tell you that.”
About a year ago, Ive’s new company signed a partnership contract with Ferrari and Ferrari’s parent company, Exor. This design company is known to maintain a low profile status without the presence of an official website or social media. Details surrounding the deal remain unknown, although I have joined the so-called Exor Partner Board, which is essentially an annual forum for established partners and company friends.