Wednesday, December 26, 2007

More BMW iDrive Reviews: The Evolution of a Bad Idea

Still trying to get the BMW iDrive to be usable ...

"I'm starting to get more and more fascinated by BMW's iDrive as a sample case of the development, adjustment and relaunch of a product with poor usability. As a Christmas present for all you people who enjoy watching BMW wrestle with its own invention and trying to reach a point where either iDrive has reached an acceptable level of usability or the company can discard the concept without losing face: here's another inspiring selection of iDrive reviews.

The Truth About Cars: BMW iDrive Editorial
"It seems unlikely that the Seven's (bmw 700 series, ed.) target market- slightly older than middle-aged plutocrats- will be bothered about using iDrive. [...] BMW knows this. They have so much faith in the iDrive system that you can operate all the car's major functions without touching the controller. Traditional rotary knobs regulate airflow and temperature. All the usual buttons operate the windows, seats, central locking, defrost, etc. If BMW believed that iDrive was the intuitive future of driver control, why did they equip the new Seven with two CD players? Maybe it's because the dash-mounted single CD can be operated manually, while the six-stack system requires iDrive."

Technoride: Mid-Course Correction for BMW's iDrive
"That means you will be able to program a favorite destination, a phone number, or an audio setting into each button, bypassing iDrive's slide, turn, and press-to-select methodology. This marks the third version of iDrive. The first, in 2002, had eight general functions that you selected by first sliding the controller in one of the eight compass directions. Version 2, circa 2004, reworked the functions to just four (communication, navigation, entertainment, and climate control). This third variant adds the function buttons, much like programmable PC function keys (they can be programmed, you know, just that no one does anymore) or radio buttons on your car audio system, to the four-way iDrive controller."

The Mobile Experience Blog: BMW iDrive Really Sucks
"As mentioned earlier, because the system is so slow, I often pre-select faster than what the system can keep up thereby causing it to take me to the wrong menu screen or inputting the wrong value."    (Continued via the product usability weblog:)    [Usability Resources]

iDrive - Usability, User Interface Design



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