Experts criticize VW Golf user interface

January 26, 2021 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Experts criticize VW Golf user interface
Automakers should reconsider touchscreen controls for driving-critical functions, evaluation summarizes.

When the new Golf VIII was launched, many critics praised what they saw as the minimalist design of its user interface, because Volkswagen had dispensed with many classic switches and instead built the user interface (UX) almost exclusively on touchscreens, swipe gestures and voice control. This user interface reduced distraction and thus increased driving safety, vehicle testers judged. But the devil is in the detail: on closer examination, it turns out that the opposite is true for some functions.

A new UX evaluation from industry advisor Strategy Analytics’ In-vehicle UX (IVX) group has assessed the 2020 VW Golf VIII infotainment system and relevant HMI. The console design is rated as “visually appealing”, while the inclusion of an advanced-for-its-class voice assistant allows flexible input for a wide range of important infotainment-related tasks. But both design features have implications for the UX of key functions in the car and several design flaws were identified within the touchscreen interface.

Overall, the 2020 VW Golf VIII’s infotainment system was ranked solidly in the middle tier of all vehicles evaluated thus far in Strategy Analytics’ proprietary infotainment benchmark algorithm – a ranking system derived by how well a car’s available features correspond to Strategy Analytics’ existing data on consumer interest in advanced infotainment features.

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