The dawn of the connected car.


There are more than 1.2 billion cars on planet earth. While each of us spends on average 90 minutes per day in a car, often stuck in traffic, life seems to be on pause. What if you could live your life in the car just the way you love it?

It is time to turn driving into living.


Case Study - Designing an A.I. Driven Interface for a Smart Car

What is Byton?

Byton is a Chinese car company with a new concept that combines autonomous driving, connectivity, and performance to deliver the perfect driving experience. 


Why is Byton different?

Byton is more than a car, it's a connected platform that gives people the power to do what they want in the car - drive or be driven.


What's the problem?

The current concept has lots of technologies that overwhelm the driver with options and features.   

What are the obstacles?

Byton is trying to do too many things

at once and this is hurting the overall experience. 


Use the cars intelligence to learn each driver's needs and habits and streamline the touchscreen interface to predict what the driver wants.  


My Role: UX Designer | Creative Director

This was a team project and I worked  with another designer. We shared duties in the UX process and took on additional roles as needed. I acted as creative director, which is my background.

I utilized design thinking and agile methodologies throughout the full UX process, which I've documented in the case study below.



The Process

The UX process is not linear. I layed out my case study in a linear fashion but that's not the full story. Design thinking and agile UX are iterative and flexible.


The Opportunity

Autonomous cars are coming and they will change the world in fundamental ways. 

The first companies to successfully introduce and sell autonomous cars will have a huge advantage in the market and become a powerful force in shaping it. 



The Challenge

More Features more problems


It’s not just a car, it’s a platform. With massive data and content capabilities it can do nearly everything. But is that a good thing?

Features include:

Full-Width Display

Facial Recognition

Gesture Control

Central Touch Screen

App and Social Media Hub



Problem Statement

People love driving given the right conditions, but when driving becomes boring or stressful, they'd rather be driven.


How might we enable people to enjoy the driving experience but also provide the freedom to do what they want, when they want?



Key Learnings

People love driving under the right conditions.

People would rather do other things in the car than drive.

People hate driving under stressful conditions.

Opinions are overwhelmingly positive about autonomous cars.

Word clouds based on interview results


Competitive & Comparative Analysis

Key Learning: Current auto technologies distract rather than help drivers. Looking to other examples outside of automotive shows the way to more human-centered interaction models. 


Most products are distracting:

Tesla makes you look away from the road, Apple Car Play is like a phone in your dashboard


Products like Siri and Alexa work well for repetitive tasks and seem like they could work well


A more human-like emotional connection to technology has value when interacting with complex systems




Tech Executive

Age: 35

Status: Single Mother of 2 kids


Suzie has a love/hate relationship with her car. She absolutely loves to drive when conditions are right - no traffic, nice weather, open roads and great views. But when she has to commute in traffic she gets stressed out.


Driving Behavior and Habits


  • Gets frustrated and angry in traffic

  • Likes to listen to music in the car

  • Has a typical LA commute of at least an hour each way.

  • Has an active social life and sends/receives texts all day

  • Enjoys road trips with her family along scenic routes

Goals and Needs


  • Has high income and enjoys owning luxury cars

  • Relies on high end comfort and features to keep her family happy

  • Comfortable using new technology

  • Is comfortable with the idea of autonomous cars

"I hate it when things don't go according to plan."


Journey Map

We've created a realistic situation that our persona may find themselves in - a car ride with her family from Los Angeles to Malibu. This journey reveals that current technology is very distracting to use while driving and leads to dangerous conditions for everyone on the road. 


Feature Prioritization

MoSCoW METHOD: Now that I understand the needs of my persona and the problems that arise during a car trip they may take, I can determine the features that should be included in the touchscreen interface design.

I chose to use the MoSCoW method because it allows me to quickly organize the features I want to include and easily identify the most important ones to incorporate into my designs.


  • Global Navigation

  • Touch Screen

  • AI

  • Autonomous 

       Driving Mode


  • Voice Command


  • Facial Recognition


  • Gesture Control



Initial Sketches

Simple and focused, the A.I. will detect conditions and external communications and serve the driver options based on preferences, needs, and habits.

Global navigation allows all car controls to be accessed manually

A.I. taps into users calendar to predict destinations.

A.I. understands context of communications and predicts changes

A.I. learns driver's preferences and makes suggestions

Big buttons easily reachable with thumbs


Mood Board - Reinvent The Car Not The Wheel

There’s an advantage to familiarity, our persona loves to drive so we don’t want them to feel like it’s not a car anymore. And when it comes to visual and physical interfaces we want to use commonly used elements, again so it feels like a driving experience, wether it's the person or the car doing the driving.







Paper Prototype

Highlighted below, usability testing with paper prototypes helped identify problems and led to solutions. We conducted in-person testing and recorded the results on video so we could compare and focus on the most common issues first.


Say hello to iByte

iByte's goal is to minimize distraction and stress and maximize enjoyment of the driving experience.

Important features include: Global navigation to access all car functions



Video Walkthrough


Integrate full-width Dashboard with iByte

Research best uses for Gesture Control

Get more people behind the wheel of a Byton!


Experience and insights gained from this project

• Driving can be a rollercoaster of emotions and A.I. has the potential to smooth out the experience 


• The most advanced technology is worthless if it doesn't address a need

• There is a UX process to crafting a case study about a UX process

• It's important to state the obvious when building a case, even if you think everyone knows it