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Automotive HMI design and participatory user involvement: Review and perspectives

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Automotive human-machine interface (HMI) design is facing new challenges due to the technological advances of the last decades. The design process has to be adapted in order to address human factors and road safety challenges. It is now widely accepted that user involvement in the HMI design process is valuable. However, the current form of user involvement in industry remains at the stages of concept assessment and usability tests. Moreover, the literature in other fields (e.g. information systems) promotes a broader user involvement with participatory design (i.e. the user is fully involved in the development process). This article reviews the established benefits of participatory design and reveals perspectives for automotive HMI quality improvement in a cognitive ergonomic framework.Practitioner SummaryAutomotive HMI quality determines, in part, drivers’ ability to perform primary driving tasks while using in-vehicle devices. User involvement in the design process is a key point to contribute to HMI quality. This article reports the potential benefits of a broad involvement from drivers to meet automotive HMI design challenges.
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Automotive HMI design and participatory user
involvement: review and perspectives
Mathilde François, François Osiurak, Alexandra Fort, Philippe Crave & Jordan
Navarro
To cite this article: Mathilde François, François Osiurak, Alexandra Fort, Philippe Crave &
Jordan Navarro (2017) Automotive HMI design and participatory user involvement: review and
perspectives, Ergonomics, 60:4, 541-552, DOI: 10.1080/00140139.2016.1188218
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2016.1188218
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ERGONOMICS, 2017
VOL. 60, NO. 4, 541–552
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2016.1188218
Automotive HMI design and participatory user involvement: review and
perspectives
Mathilde Françoisa,b, François Osiuraka,c, Alexandra Fortd, Philippe Craveb and Jordan Navarroa
aLaboratoire d’Etude des Mécanismes Cognitifs (EMC EA 3082), Université de Lyon, Bron, France; bVolvo Group Trucks Technology (GTT), Saint
Priest, France; cInstitut Universitaire de France, Paris, France; dIFSTTAR-TS2-LESCOT, Bron, France
ABSTRACT
Automotive human–machine interface (HMI) design is facing new challenges due to the
technological advances of the last decades. The design process has to be adapted in order to
address human factors and road safety challenges. It is now widely accepted that user involvement
in the HMI design process is valuable. However, the current form of user involvement in industry
remains at the stages of concept assessment and usability tests. Moreover, the literature in other
elds (e.g. information systems) promotes a broader user involvement with participatory design (i.e.
the user is fully involved in the development process). This article reviews the established benets
of participatory design and reveals perspectives for automotive HMI quality improvement in a
cognitive ergonomic framework.
Practitioner Summary: Automotive HMI quality determines, in part, drivers’ ability to perform
primary driving tasks while using in-vehicle devices. User involvement in the design process is a key
point to contribute to HMI quality. This article reports the potential benets of a broad involvement
from drivers to meet automotive HMI design challenges.
1. Introduction
For a long time, the design of automotive human–machine
interfaces (HMI) was determined by technical constraints
and the extent of the features made possible by the tech-
nology. Nevertheless, the limited amounts of information
that can be handled by the driver and road safety issues
have forced a shift in design approach. Human–machine
interface design has moved from technology-centred
and feature-driven approaches to human-centred design
approaches (i.e. applying human factors and usabil-
ity knowledge). Among human-centred approaches,
user-centred design (i.e. considering the users’ perspective
to achieve a usable system) has become the standard for
automotive HMI design. Drivers are involved during usa-
bility tests for interface assessment, and it is now widely
accepted that user involvement in the HMI development
process is valuable (e.g. Bekker and Long [2000]; Preece,
Rogers and Sharp, 2011).
Another human-centred approach, participatory
design, has had great success for more than four decades
and has demonstrated clear benets in other elds (e.g.
information systems, physical ergonomics). Participatory
design implies a proactive role by the user throughout the
process, including concept design activities. Compared
to other approaches, participatory design may allow
the accessing of users’ mental models and preferences,
which would improve product quality and user accept-
ance (Spinuzzi 2005). In the HMI design eld, few articles
have reported on participatory design (e.g. Moraes and
Padovani [1998]; Bruno and Muzzupappa [2010]; Bilal
[2013]), and none of them made a cognitive ergonomic
evaluation of the product designed (e.g. measures of e-
ciency and satisfaction).
Therefore, the question arises: How could automotive
HMI design benet from participatory design compared
to user-centred design from a cognitive ergonomic per-
spective? The objective of this article was to provide a
comprehensive literature review of the benets of partic-
ipatory design and to report on the perspectives to meet
automotive HMI challenges.
In the rst section, cognitive ergonomic challenges
related to automotive HMI design are presented. Then, a
review of participatory design benets is provided in the
second section. Lastly, participatory design benets are
linked to automotive HMI challenges to highlight poten-
tial research and application perspectives. This article
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
KEYWORDS
Human–machine interface;
user involvement; user-
centred design; participatory
design
ARTICLE HISTORY
Received 16 April 2015
Accepted 3 May 2016
CONTACT Mathilde François mathilde.francois@volvo.com
542 M. FRANÇOIS ET AL.
2.1. Usability
Nielsen (2012) dened usability as ‘a quality attribute
that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use’. It is the
leading criterion in the cognitive ergonomic literature to
dene HMI quality. Many models of usability were pro-
posed; Nielsen (1994) summarised with the following ve
constructs: learnability, eciency, memorability, errors
and satisfaction (see denition in Table 1). Besides those
constructs, many subcriteria of usability have been pro-
posed that are not really consistent across standards. Baber
(2005) highlighted this diversity by reviewing 34 dier-
ent factors of usability. The International Organization for
Standardization (1998) considered three aspects: eec-
tiveness (i.e. accuracy and completeness to complete a
task), eciency (i.e. resources expended to complete a
task) and satisfaction (i.e. comfort and pleasure of usage).
Constantine and Lockwood (1999) dened usability as a
combination of learnability, system reliability, eciency,
memorability and user satisfaction. Preece et al. (2011)
associated learnability with exibility, throughput and atti-
tude. Shackel (1986) identied four usability criteria: learn-
ability, exibility, eectiveness and user attitude. Stanton
and Baber (1992) added perceived usefulness, task match,
task characteristics and user criteria. Shneiderman (1992)
proposed ve attributes: time to learn, speed performance,
rate of errors, retention over time and subjective satisfac-
tion. Nevertheless, the dierent terms often overlap the
same characteristics. The model of Nielsen (1994) has the
advantage of presenting a global and representative view
of the main theories. The learnability criterion was also
present in the models of Constantine and Lockwood (1999),
Preece et al. (2011), and Shackel (1986) and matches the
criterion of time to learn of Shneiderman (1992). Eciency
encompasses the notions of eectiveness (Shackel 1986;
International Organization for Standardization 1998),
eciency (International Organization for Standardization
1998; Constantine and Lockwood 1999), throughput
(Preece et al. 2011) and speed performance (Shneiderman
1992). The memorability construct has already been pre-
sented by Constantine and Lockwood (1999) and matches
concludes with a discussion on the participatory design
approach.
2. Automotive HMI design
The quality of the automotive HMI determines, in part, the
driver’s ability to perform the primary driving task while
using in-vehicle devices. Various internal and external
factors (Leplat 1981) can inuence interaction quality.
Internal factors are driver characteristics (e.g. experience
level, motivation, age, emotional status and time pressure).
External factors include context characteristics (e.g. level
of emergency, task consequences and lighting conditions)
and the characteristics of the interface itself (e.g. ease of
use, menus, modality used, colours and voice recogni-
tion). Human–machine interface designers have a limited
impact on driver and context factors. However, by specify-
ing interface characteristics, HMI designers directly impact
the way the user interacts with a device and performs the
primary task. Cognitive ergonomic criteria are used by
HMI designers as design principles as well as assessment
factors to generate interfaces compatible with human
capabilities and limitations. In this article, we will focus on
three fundamental criteria for automotive HMI: usability,
distraction and acceptance.
These three criteria cover the main measures existing in
the literature to dene the quality of an interface. Usability
is the most used criterion for interface evaluations, but
driving safety and user acceptance can have critical impli-
cations for automotive HMI due to the specic context of
use. The theoretical question of interaction and weight
between these three criteria is not addressed in this article.
More detailed and specic models on the ergonomic qual-
ity of automotive HMI exist in the literature (e.g. Harvey
et al. 2011). In this article, the objective is to adopt a holistic
and practical framework in order to examine automotive
HMI design challenges and meet practitioners’ concerns.
The proposed framework based on the three criteria (i.e.
usability, distraction and acceptance) is presented in
Table 1. In the following parts, each criterion is dened
with its scope and the associated design challenges.
Table 1.A framework to qualify automotive HMI cognitive ergonomic quality.
HMI quality criterion Attribute Description
Usability (according to Nielsen 1994) Learnability The HMI enables the user to learn how to use it at first encounter
Efficiency The HMI enables the user to complete the correct task without requiring unnecessary
resources
Memorability The HMI enables the user to remember how to use it after a period of not using it
Errors The use of the HMI does not imply errors and enables an easy recovery from an error
Satisfaction The use of the HMI is pleasant
Distraction (according to Chapon,
Gabaude, and Fort 2006)
Physical The HMI optimises required movement to perform a task
Cognitive The HMI reduces required cognitive workload to perform a task
Driver acceptance (according to
Davis, Bagozzi, and Warshaw 1989)
Perceived usefulness The degree to which a person believes that using the HMI is useful and enhances his
performance
Perceived ease of use The degree to which a person believes that using the HMI is free from effort
Attitude User’s feelings about performing the task with the HMI
ERGONOMICS 543
the concept of retention over time of Shneiderman (1992).
The errors’ criterion embraces the following criteria: sys-
tem reliability (Constantine and Lockwood 1999), exi-
bility (Shackel 1986; Preece et al. 2011) and rate of errors
(Shneiderman 1992). Finally, satisfaction was already pres-
ent in denition of usability (International Organization
for Standardization 1998; Constantine and Lockwood
1999) and matches the constructs of attitude (Shackel
1986; Preece et al. 2011) and subjective satisfaction
(Shneiderman 1992).
During automotive HMI design, one way to incorpo-
rate usability is to follow design principles, i.e. HMI guide-
lines (Stevens et al. 2002; JAMA 2004; Commission of the
European Communities 2005; Campbell et al. 2007) or usa-
bility heuristics (Bastien and Scapin 1992; Nielsen 1994).
Likewise, tests can be performed after concept denition
to assess HMI usability. Nevertheless, some criteria are
easier to assess than others. For example, errors can be
measured in terms of type, rate and ease of recovery, but
user satisfaction could comprise any number of dierent
subattributes. Moreover, memorability could be more
signicant for infrequently used vehicle functions (e.g.
fog lights) than for those which are used frequently (e.g.
indicators).
2.2. Distraction
Distraction is dened in the literature as a diversion of
attention from the driving task to a concurrent activity
(Pettitt, Burnett, and Stevens 2005). Distraction can be
related or not to driving and due to an event, object or
person inside or outside the vehicle (Chapon, Gabaude,
and Fort 2006). The interaction with automotive HMI can
result in distraction related to driving (e.g. following a map
on a GPS) or in not related to driving (e.g. changing radio
volume). In both cases, the interaction with the HMI could
imply physical distraction (e.g. at least one hand o the
steering wheel and eyes o the road) and/or cognitive dis
-
traction (i.e. cognitive workload needed to perform a task;
Chapon, Gabaude, and Fort 2006). Distraction can signif-
icantly impair the driver’s visual search patterns, reaction
times, decision-making and/or driving performance (e.g.
position on the road; Young, Regan, and Hammer 2007).
Divided attention in itself leads to an increased workload;
mental workload management while interacting with
in-vehicle devices is therefore crucial to keep resources
available for the primary driving task (Young et al. 2015).
The distraction criterion is central in the automotive
HMI domain and is, for that reason, treated separately
here from usability, even though this concept is clearly
linked with eciency. Indeed, in-vehicle HMI is used under
a specic context of use. The importance of the dual task
interference (Harvey et al. 2011) and its impact on driver
distraction distinguish automotive HMI from other user
interfaces (Marcus 2004).
During design, many interface characteristics can be
considered to reduce distraction. For example, Reimer
et al. (2014) stressed that the typeface design in an auto-
motive user interface impacts on task completion time and
visual demand while driving (e.g. a dierence of more than
10% of total glance time was found between two type-
faces). However, for HMI designers, anticipating sources
of distraction during concept design is quite complex.
The distraction criterion is most often addressed through
assessment with measures such as driving performance
during interaction (Young et al. 2007), gaze away from road
(e.g. total eyes o-road time, maximum glance duration;
Larsson and Niemand 2015), cognitive workload (Stanton
et al. 2013), situation awareness (Ma and Kaber 2007) and
reaction times (Navarro, Mars, and Hoc 2007). Moreover,
a guideline has been created to assess driver distraction
(NHTSA 2012) with visual–manual distraction metrics and
acceptance thresholds (e.g. devices should be designed so
that drivers can interact without looking away from the
road for more than 2s).
2.3. Driver acceptance
Driver acceptance is dened by Adell (2010, 477) as ‘the
degree to which an individual intends to use a system and,
when available, to incorporate the system in his/her driv-
ing’. Driver acceptance covers user attitudes, their subjec-
tive experiences and their willingness to use technology
for the task for which it was intended. Acceptance contrib-
utes widely to automotive technology adoption (i.e. the
use of a device as part of a driver’s everyday life; Najm et al.
2006). Following the rapid development of technology, the
concept of acceptance and its relation to usage behaviour
has become a signicant research question. A number of
dierent models have put emphasis on dierent aspects
of user acceptance. Among the many variables that may
inuence acceptance or rejection of a technology, the
technology acceptance model (TAM; Davis, Bagozzi, and
Warshaw 1989) – based on the theory of reasoned action
(Fishbein and Ajzen 1975) – suggests that perceived use-
fulness and perceived ease of use impact on user attitudes
towards using, determining the behavioural intention
to use. More recently, Venkatesh et al. (2003) proposed
the unied theory of acceptance and use of technology.
This model states that usage behaviour is inuenced by
intention to use and facilitating conditions. The intention
to use is in turn impacted by performance expectancy,
eort expectancy and social inuence. Besides those fac-
tors, Nielsen (1994) has stressed the importance of utility
when describing practical acceptance. Indeed, a system
can be usable but not necessarily useful. Van Der Laan,
544 M. FRANÇOIS ET AL.
human factors. According to ISO 9241–210 (2006), the
human-centred design process splits into three stages
through an iterative process: (1) analysis (understanding
context of use and specifying user requirements), (2) con-
cept design and (3) concept assessment. Human-centred
design includes dierent design methodologies according
to their level of user involvement throughout the process.
Eason (1995) distinguished three levels of user involve-
ment for product development: a design for users, a design
with users and a design by users. Damodaran (1996) took
up those levels by characterising user involvement as
being somewhere on the continuum from informative,
through consultative, to participative. The correspondence
between those three levels of user involvement and the
stages of the human-centred design process is presented
in Figure 1.
3.1. User-centred design: a design for and with
users
Human-centred approaches are manifold, e.g. ethnog-
raphy (Blomberg et al. 1993), the lead user approach
(Herstatt and Hippel 1992), contextual design (Beyer
and Holtzblatt 1999), joint application design (Carmel,
Whitaker, and George 1993) and empathic design (Leonard
and Rayport 1997). Among human-centred approaches,
the user-centred design process has been widely and pre-
dominantly used for about 30years. The main goal is to
develop a product while keeping the user in mind and
Heino, and De Waard (1997) conrmed this point by identi-
fying usefulness and satisfaction as the two dimensions of
acceptance. Willingness to use is also dependent on driver
satisfaction, and some subjective criteria are suggested
such as aesthetics, emotional appeal, pleasure, fun, cool-
ness and attractiveness (Preece, Rogers, and Sharp 2011;
Baber 2005).
Although subjective attributes are recognised as play-
ing a great role in user acceptance, they are more di-
cult to translate into specications during HMI concept
design. Furthermore, the concept of acceptance relates to
the user’s attitude towards a technology, and the HMI only
partially contributes to this (e.g. Brown et al. [2015]). Driver
acceptance is therefore often addressed during concept
assessment through questionnaires and subjective reports
(e.g. Van Der Laan, Heino, and De Waard [1997]).
3. User involvement and design processes
During product development, even if designers are close
to users and know product usages, their perceptions
and reections could be modulated by their knowledge.
Nielsen (2008) reported that designers know too much
about the product, are too skilled in using computers or
tools in general and ‘care too much about their own baby’.
The ISO 13407 guideline (1999) thus recommends active
user involvement to create products compatible with users,
tasks and environment requirements. The human-centred
approach aims to take into account the context of use and
Figure 1.A correspondence between the different levels of user involvement and the phases of the human-centred design process.
Note: Figure adapted from Kaulio (1998).
ERGONOMICS 545
Participatory design started in the Scandinavian coun-
tries in the 1970s for sociopolitical reasons (Floyd et al.
1989; Ehn 1992). Since that time, participatory design
process has evolved away from politics and has turned
into a point of interest for research. Design researchers and
company designers have conducted participatory stud-
ies in many elds (e.g. interaction systems, management,
services development, computer-supported cooperative
work and physical ergonomics).
Several ideas support this shift towards a broader
involvement of users. First, Carroll and Rosson (2007)
stated the ‘moral’ aspect of participatory design, i.e.
the fact that the user has a right to be involved in deci-
sion-making. Second, the ‘pragmatic’ aspect of participa-
tory design relies on the fact that users’ experience and
knowledge can oer insights on concepts design (Carroll
and Rosson 2007). Users are considered to be subject-
matter experts who use the product in their everyday lives
and have something to oer if designers oer them the
right tools to express themselves (Sanders 2002). Third,
a goal of participatory design is to go beyond the user’s
explicit consultation in order to elicit the user’s tacit
knowledge (Spinuzzi 2005). Tacit knowledge is the implicit
knowledge that users hold about various aspects of an
activity, including the way they interact with the product
and perform the activity. According to Sanders (2002), the
transfer of users’ tacit knowledge to a concept is made
possible by the fact that the user is in a ‘making’ situation,
with the help of adapted tools. This would oer an access
to their implicit skills and experiences that would be inac-
cessible by watching them or listening to what they say
(Sanders 2002). Spinuzzi (2005) suggested that this meet-
ing between users’ tacit knowledge and researchers’ more
abstract analytical knowledge is the key point that leads
participatory design to more successful products.
The link between user involvement and system suc-
cess represents a signicant body of the information sys-
tems literature since the late 1970s (Ives and Olsson 1981;
Cavaye 1995; Hwang and Thorn 1999; Kujala 2003; He
and King 2008; Bachore and Zhou 2009). Nevertheless, as
mentioned previously, levels of user involvement are on a
continuum from informative to participative (Damodaran
1996). Therefore, it is sometimes dicult to distinguish
clearly the boundary between consultative and partic-
ipative involvement. Moreover, Damodaran (1996, 363)
reported that ‘the term “user involvement” is sometimes
used as a synonym for participatory design’. To present rel-
evant ndings reporting benets of participative involve-
ment, this review focuses on articles reporting early user
involvement, user participation in concept design activi-
ties and studies aiming to be participatory design.
The main benets of user involvement are summa-
rised in ve key points by: (1) improved product quality
promote usability by detecting and avoiding potential
interaction issues before product implementation (Gould
and Lewis 1985; Karat 1997). User-centred design plays a
signicant role in research and practice to consider users’
needs and expectations, focus on interaction and improve
communication between designers and users.
User involvement in user-centred design is informative
and/or consultative (Bekker and Long 2000). With informa-
tive involvement, users are considered as a source of infor-
mation for the analysis stage, but the design team ensures
the concept design and assessment. Information on users
is collected using dierent tools such as surveys (Preece
et al. 1994), eld studies (Preece et al. 1994), diary keep-
ing (Poulson, Ashby, and Richardson 1996), task analysis
(Kirwan and Ainsworth 1992), user requirement interviews
(Macaulay 1996), focus groups (Caplan 1990), personas
(Olsen 2004) and scenario of use (Nielsen 1990).
With consultative involvement, users provide infor-
mation during the analysis stage but also take part in the
assessment phase. They are requested to give their feed-
back on concepts designed by the design team (e.g. with
usability tests). Dumas and Redish (1999) summarised the
main benets of usability testing: to improve the product’s
usability, involve real users, give users real tasks to accom-
plish, enable designers to observe and record users’ actions
and enable designers to make changes accordingly.
Notwithstanding, some limitations can be reported for
user-centred design. The principal criticism is that design-
ers have a controlling approach (Lee 2008). In fact, concepts
are created by engineers, and users are only consulted to
evaluate them. The implementation of user-centred design
in practice often implies an assessment with a limited set
of features covered, during a limited time, and, often, with
a small number of participants (Abras, Maloney-Krichmar,
and Preece 2004). Moreover, user-centred design focuses
principally on how the user reacts to a prototype and fails
to capture what they could bring to the concept design.
3.2. Participatory design: from a design for users to
a design by users
Another major human-centred approach, called partic-
ipatory design (or collaborative design), implies partici-
pative user involvement. With participative involvement,
users contribute directly and proactively to the concept
design phase (Sanders 2002). The user’s role is not just con-
rmatory but continuous from the analysis, throughout
the concept design, to the assessment stages. Although
user-centred design and participatory design are very
close, the active role of the user throughout the process,
including concept design activities, is a major dierence
between the two approaches (Carroll 1996; Bekker and
Long 2000; Sanders 2002; Kujala 2003).
546 M. FRANÇOIS ET AL.
4. From consultative to participative user
involvement: perspectives for automotive HMI
design
As mentioned earlier, some limitations can be addressed
to user-centred design and usability testing, it is therefore
important to explore alternative development possibilities.
Based on the benets reported, participatory design could
be benecial for automotive HMI design. First, economic
benets could be expected due to the early involvement
of users and the reduction in iterations needed. Moreover,
the potential avoidance of costly features (Damodaran
1996) would be particularly interesting for companies
wishing to develop cost-ecient HMI. For example, for a
new gauge design; with a user-centred design process,
the dierent concepts of gauges presented necessarily
restrict drivers’ alternatives, whereas with a participatory
design process, drivers are completely free to choose
another concept (e.g. only alerts indicating malfunc-
tions). Second, a better understanding of drivers’ needs
could lead to a better match with market expectations.
Drivers are experts, especially in the automotive eld,
and participatory design could allow designers to access
their insights and innovative ideas. Third, increased par-
ticipation in decision-making could be a benecial from
a marketing and brand image perspective. Furthermore,
participatory design studies report an impact on prod-
uct quality and user acceptance. These benets might be
translated for automotive HMI by an improvement in their
cognitive ergonomic quality (improved usability, improved
acceptance and reduced distraction).
4.1. Participative user involvement to increase HMI
usability
While interacting with an interface, drivers engage work-
ing memory resources. Sweller (1988) suggested that an
eective material improves and facilitates learning by
directing cognitive resources to acquisition of mental
models. Mental models are dened as ‘a rich and elaborate
structure, reecting the user’s understanding of what the
system contains, how it works, and why it works that way’
(Carroll and Olson 1988, 51). In long-term memory, mental
models are composed of organised elements, and it allows
retrieval of subelements of information as a single element
(Kalyuga, Chandler, and Sweller 1999). For example, for
an automotive interface such as a climate control panel,
the driver develops mental a model of the way to interact
with each button and associates this with the eects on
interior temperature. This model will serve as reference
path for the driver to interpret and predict his future inter-
actions (Loup-Escande, Burkhardt, and Richir 2013). Mental
models are dynamic, contribute to user expertise and are
due to better denition of user requirements, (2) avoid-
ance of costly features that users do not need or use, (3)
better acceptance, (4) greater understanding of users
and (5) increased participation in decision-making. First,
the improvement of product quality is also reviewed by
Bachore and Zhou (2009). Kujala (2003) reported posi-
tive the eects of user involvement on system success.
Furthermore, Baroudi, Olson, and Ives (1986) suggested
that user involvement has some positive eects on prod-
uct usage. On participatory design studies, Clement and
Van den Besselaar (1993) described the well-functioning
nature of the products designed from the user perspec-
tive and their endurance over time. The improvement
of the user requirements’ denition is also reviewed by
Kujala (2003) and Bachore and Zhou (2009). Nielsen (1994)
mentioned the time wasted on certain projects arguing
about what users might want or like. Participatory design
allows the direct delivery of users’ needs and expectations.
Nielsen (1994, 88) also stated that users can bring new
questions or ideas that the development team have ‘not
even dreamed of asking’. Second, concerning economic
considerations, Karat (1997) suggested that early iden-
tication of problems can reduce time and avoid costs
related to late changes. Chatzoglou and Macaulay (1996)
supported this idea by arguing that early user involvement
can lead to a decreased number of iterations during the
design process to full requirements. Third, user accept-
ance benets due to user involvement are also reported by
Bachore and Zhou (2009) and Kujala (2003). In one of the
rst participatory design projects, called UTOPIA (1981),
results showed better communication between design-
ers and users and increased user acceptance. Other sub-
jective advantages are reported such as increased trust
and user satisfaction (Weng et al. 2007), self-condence
(Clement and Van den Besselaar 1993) and personal rele-
vance (Kujala 2003). Fourth, greater understanding of the
user mainly relies on the elicitation of tacit knowledge
and on a mutual understanding between designers and
participants (Weng et al. 2007). Finally, the increased par-
ticipation of users in decision-making can result in organ-
isational impacts (Bachore and Zhou 2009).
In parallel to this work in information systems, physical
ergonomic researchers conducted participatory studies
(McNeese et al. 1995; Nagamachi 1995; Vink et al. 1995;
Dixon and Theberge 2011; Morag and Luria 2013; Xie et al.
2015). Improvements are reported in terms of a reduction
in physical stress, health problems and development time
(Loisel et al. 2001; Sundin, Christmansson, and Larsson
2004; van Eerd et al. 2010; Gyi, Sang, and Haslam 2013).
Other authors added that participative approaches could
encourage sustainability (Martin, Legg, and Brown 2013;
Ryan and Wilson 2013).
ERGONOMICS 547
To minimise interference with driving, a consultative
involvement relies on HMI guidelines and measures of
distraction. The key recent NHTSA distraction guideline
(NHTSA 2012) contains design recommendations and
acceptance thresholds with the aim of minimising visual–
manual distraction. Those measures are necessary even
if a participatory design approach is applied. However,
as mentioned above, user involvement during concept
design could increase HMI usability and this could imply
a decrease in distraction during HMI use. Indeed, a con-
sideration of the information that the driver needs and
the preferred layout associated could favour a low-clut-
ter design resulting in increased visual search eciency.
Moreover, a better match with drivers’ existing mental
models could automate interaction and decrease the cog-
nitive resources required to perform a task. By improving
usability, a participative involvement in the design process
could consequently decrease HMI distraction and lead to
better compatibility with the driving task. The impact of
participatory design on distraction would thus not be
direct, but the result of a usability improvement.
4.3. Participative user involvement to increase HMI
acceptance
Human–machine interface acceptance is crucial because
accepted devices are more likely to be used by drivers. For
example, a driver assistance system can be disabled if its
HMI is annoying. Van Der Laan et al. stressed this point by
stating that ‘it is unproductive to invest eort in designing
and building an intelligent co-driver if the system is never
switched on, or even disabled’ (1997, 1).
Since acceptance is individual, it can only be based on
each driver’s attitudes, expectations, experiences and sub-
jective evaluation (Schade and Baum 2007). User accept-
ance is also aected by the degree of match between the
user’s initial mental model of the system and its current use
(Beggiato and Krems 2013). If the interfaces do not t the
drivers’ mental models and expectations, they may lead
to misuse, potentially hazardous situations and rejection
of the system (Maltz and Shinar 2007). Increased usabil-
ity should thus improve driver acceptance. Likewise, new
challenges for HMI designers are more linked to commer-
cial aspects such as joy, aesthetics, HMI appeal or pleas-
ure of use (Solman 2002). With consultative involvement,
those subjective aspects are addressed with question-
naires during the HMI assessment. Participatory design
benets (i.e. satisfaction, product success, personal rel-
evance, perceived ownership and intention to use) are
directly linked to user acceptance (Clement and Van den
Besselaar 1993; Kujala 2003; Weng et al. 2007). Drivers’
participative involvement in concept design could lead
to a prior consideration of those subjective aspects and
part of tacit knowledge. When a mental model is acquired,
interaction is automated, and the number of cognitive
resources needed to perform this interaction is reduced.
For example, if a map is presented on a GPS, drivers’ spatial
representations based on their previous interactions with
a map have to be considered. If the drivers’ preferred ori-
entation of the map is met, visual search and information
processing eciency will increase. The fact that part of the
user’s knowledge has become tacit through automation
represents one of the diculties of involving users and
understanding their requirements (Sanders 2002).
For automotive HMI design, it would be a great advan-
tage to have access to those implicit constructs. With a
user-centred design process, tacit knowledge is addressed
by evaluating the degree of match between the designers’
conceptual model of the interface and the users’ mental
models during usability tests (Norman 1993; Nielsen 2010).
The focus is primarily on what users do and use and on
what people say and think (Sanders 2002). With a partici-
patory design, drivers are making concepts. This allows the
consideration of skills and past experiences as resources in
the design process, which is not possible by just listening
or watching (Sanders 2002). Prototyping concepts with
‘make tools’ – so-called by Sanders (2002) – give an access
to dierent levels of driver’s needs (i.e. explicit, tacit, latent)
(Loup-Escande, Burkhardt, and Richir 2013). The projective
dimension could encourage idea generation, and the visual
dimension could help to reveal latent needs through a pos-
sible bottom-up eect. The ideas generated would be expe-
rience based rather than only object based. Drivers’ mental
models used as resources in the concept design stage could
thus lead to better eciency, learnability, memorability, a
lower error rate and therefore increased HMI usability.
4.2. Participative user involvement to decrease HMI
distraction
According to the National Highway Trac Safety
Administration (NHTSA 2012), 16% of all road accidents
are associated with a lack of driver’s attention. Research
syntheses conclude that priority should be given to mini-
mising visual–manual interaction (NHTSA 2012). A single
o-road glance (or eye closure) overlapping with a time
critical event can lead to safety issues (Victor and Dozza
2011). A major part of the distraction associated with inter-
acting with in-vehicle interfaces interaction also arises. The
degree to which drivers’ attention is diverted away from
the primary driving task while using an in-vehicle HMI is
determined in part by the design and operation of the
device. For example, too much information presented
through the wrong layout or information that is dicult
to understand can increase workload and cause hazardous
situations.
548 M. FRANÇOIS ET AL.
collaborative development (i.e. users’ concerns have to be
addressed in the resulting HMI concepts and must include
verication and regular group interaction) and iterative
process (i.e. involvement of users repeatedly and co-devel-
opment at dierent stages, and ensuring the appearance
of the HMI concept prototype does not turn participants’
attention to minor details, to ensure sustained reection).
Last but not least, the ability of users to add value in the
concept design phase will be discussed. Indeed, drivers
are not HMI professional designers and could experience
diculties in considering all aspects and requirements
(industrial engineering, cognitive ergonomics, technical
possibilities, project-lead times, brand image, etc.). Drivers
could tend to focus on a single interaction element and
not adopt a holistic vision. Moreover, Scariot, Heemann,
and Padovani (2012) highlighted the potential for social
desirability bias, i.e. users tend to direct answers to what
they believe the researcher wants to hear or what is more
socially accepted. Therefore, drivers could have diculty
identifying what they want until they see it. Henry Ford’s
famous quote reects this point: ‘If I had asked people what
they wanted, they would have said faster horses’ (cited in
Chandler and Van Slee [2013]). Those issues emphasise
the need to have a close collaboration with HMI design-
ers, suitable interactive prototyping tools and a rigorous
methodology.
Obviously, the perspectives proposed in this article for
automotive HMI design are not applicable for all types of
projects. The form of user involvement to adopt depends
on the available features, the number of usability risks, the
gap between designers and users and the level of tacit
knowledge involved in the interaction. The conception
of an entire dashboard can take several years for HMI
designers. The design process is therefore very important
to ensure the right direction and avoid costs associated
with a step backwards. Determining the moment, the type
and the level of driver involvement are important aspects
that should receive adequate research attention.
6. Conclusion
This review presents current automotive HMI design
challenges and requirements in terms of HMI quality (i.e.
usability, distraction and acceptance). The benets of par-
ticipatory design have been reviewed and linked to HMI
cognitive ergonomic preoccupations. In addition to eco-
nomic and marketing opportunities, two key aspects have
been pointed out. First, accessing drivers’ tacit knowledge
through active involvement during concept design could
lead to an optimisation of HMI in terms of usability and
minimise distraction. Second, the consideration of drivers’
mental models and preferences from the concept design
stage may also improve drivers’ HMI acceptance.
have a direct inuence on drivers’ willingness to use and
subjective experience.
5. Limitations inherent in a participative user
involvement
The participative user involvement embraced by participa-
tory design seems a promising alternative to user-centred
design and could enrich the debate for HMI researchers
and practitioners. Nevertheless, some limitations have to
be addressed to ensure a global view. Three main limita-
tions are identied from the literature.
First, a lack of formalised methodology has been
described by many authors. a broad range of practices
is deployed (Haines et al. 2002; Spinuzzi 2005; Pilemalm
and Timpka 2008). To overcome this limitation, Spinuzzi
(2005) stated a clear methodology for participatory design.
Moreover, another reproach is that the level of involve-
ment during participative projects is often only assessed
by surveys (Ives and Olsson 1981). Notwithstanding, some
articles responded to those limitations: the denition of
user involvement has been claried (Barki and Hartwick
1989) and measures to qualify user involvement have been
proposed (Barki and Hartwick 1989; Torkzadeh and Doll
1994).
Second, the benets reviewed have been contested
in terms of validity. The main criticisms concern the lack
of rigour with standardised, reliable and validated meas-
ures that could facilitate comparison of studies on system
success, system use and user satisfaction (Ives and Olsson
1981; Cavaye 1995). Moreover, the main reviews report a
qualitative evaluation of the participatory project process
and lack signicant objective measures on the outcome
quality. Clement and Van den Besselaar (1993) added that
there is little data on the long-term eects of this type
of approach. Furthermore, Hawk and Dos Santos (1991)
called into question the economic benets by pointing
out that user involvement is costly in terms of time and
eort, and this might be even truer for participatory design
(designers’ training in this process, expensive prototypes).
More recently, Spinuzzi (2005) proposed three criteria to
assess the participatory design process involving industrial
workers: quality of life for workers (i.e. improving workers
quality of life both in terms of organisational empower-
ment and ease of performing their given task), collabo-
rative development (i.e. representative users or average
users have to be fully involved, with a determination of a
common language and common aims) and iterative pro-
cess (i.e. continual participation of workers during several
stages ensuring a sustained reection). To transfer this idea
to an HMI participatory design process, the criteria would
be: improvement of quality (i.e. the result of the participa-
tory design study should make interaction easier for users),
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However, it would be important to report participatory
design benets from a relative point of view. Indeed, the
lack of comparative studies between the dierent levels
of user involvement does not allow gauging the gap in
terms of quality of outcomes. Further challenges could be
to compare consultative and participative involvement
with rigorous methodologies and measurements on the
same automotive HMI design case.
Acknowledgement
This work was performed within the framework of the LABEX
CORTEX (ANR-11-LABX-0042) of University of Lyon, within the
program ‘Investissements d’Avenir’ (ANR-11-IDEX-0007) operat-
ed by the French National Research Agency (ANR). This work
has also been made possible through a CIFRE PhD convention
from the ANRT (ANRT-2013/1405), funded by the French Min-
istry of Higher Education and Research. The authors wish to
thank Eric Dutt for having been a source of reexion and Ghis-
laine Goullioud for their useful comments on an earlier version
of this paper.
Funding
This work was supported by Agence Nationale de la Recherche
[grant number ANR-11-LABX-0042]; Association Nationale
de la Recherche et de la Technologie [grant number ANRT-
2013/1405].
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... This result diverges from previous studies on value co-creation in platforms or games. Many studies have shown the positive impact of value co-creation on consumer word-ofmouth [67,68], but the results from this study show that value co-creation does not have a significant positive impact on audience satisfaction, possibly suggesting that users do not in fact need value co-creation at all. Accordingly, the design of service provision in virtual spaces should break away from the traditional S-D logic and, in turn, the position and role of the user in the process of experiencing the virtual space needs to be reconsidered. ...
... On one hand, the detection of IVSI and EVSI demonstrates a comprehensive view of HMI, rather than a relatively independent view of HMI [26,31]. Based on this, the discussion in this study on HMI combines the traditional technical application of HMI with its impact on audience satisfaction, which is relatively absent in the research into HMI [9,33,68]. Moreover, the configuration presented in this study, on the other hand, serves to indicate that value co-creation may not have the same position and effect as previous scholars have suggested. ...
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A review of publications on diagnosis shows that only few of them relate to systematic field studies. Experiments in laboratory or simulation conditions are more frequent, though their relation to work situations is not always really examined. This relation gives rise to difficult problems (Leplat, 1976, 1978); it is necessary, however, in order to justify experimental studies, installation of systems, realisation of work supports, and training of operators. The necessary relation between field situations and laboratory conditions shows various forms (Rouse, 1979), considering for instance the representative quality of experimental tasks or the general character as opposed to the specific nature of diagnosis skill. One of the major difficulties of such a study certainly results from the analysis of field situations because of undeniable practical difficulties and also, because of lack of adequate theoretical outlines to guide such an analysis. Our present contribution will present a summary of such an outline, using examples to illustrate its necessity.