Sunday, 23 March 2008

An open letter to VW: Usability

I just wonder about colours that Volkswagen uses to show information on the front panel like temperature, odometer information, distance on the remaining petrol etc.: VW is using bright red colour to indicate that. Indicators locate in the center and covers quite a sufficient area in an advanced (actually standard) variation.

Why I wonder that? Because I used to use the following colour scheme:
- If an information will be displayed, then it is normally shown using green (well, may be blue) colour
- If a warning is shown, then it is shown in yellow
- If something critical (may be live-critical) or important, then it is shown in red.
I think you can easily recognize this colour scheme: identical to the traffic light one.

So, VW is ignoring standards exist in traffic and I just wonder what is the reason? Personally, I quite liked this car manufacture and was considering to buy some their cars, but the indicators colour scheme stopped me from doing that. Having to drive quite long distances sometimes and doing it a lot during late evening or night I find this scheme to be dangerous. There is one thing I afraid most: I could become used the red colour and will not adequately react on a decelerating / stopping car in front of me (as you know this is also "indicated" using red colour of rear lights). Moreover decelerating sometimes is just indicated just by more "red" and bright colour... exactly the same as colour of VW car indicators.

PS: I also do wonder why it is possible to customize a lot of things in the car, but cannot to change so simple and cheap thing as a color of indicators?!

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