Let’s get into the UX or Human Factors of the car.
1. Visibility of System Status
The design should always keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate feedback within a reasonable amount of time.
I’m thinking of the instrument panel specifically, where all the “vitals” of the car live. Gas consumption is often unclear…the range is all over the map. One minute you’ve got a full tank and 350+ miles, suddenly you’re down a quarter tank with 100 miles less of range, give or take. Lots of high highs and low lows. Because of this fluctuating range, it’s also hard to truly determine what’s the “red zone” when it comes to having to actually fill up (do I really have 50 miles left…or is it more like 5?). Anxiety causing drama is not what you want out of your gas tank! I’ve got enough anxiety from just existing, and this is one thing with my driving experience in this car that genuinely makes me anxious. I’m also not a huge fan of the collision warning system, as I find it rather inconsistent, but we’ll get into that.
2. Match Between System and the Real World
The design should speak the users’ language. Use words, phrases, and concepts familiar to the user, rather than internal jargon. Follow real-world conventions, making information appear in a natural and logical order.
Let’s switch gears (pun only slightly intended) to the shifter. Since MINI is now under the BMW umbrella, it makes sense the 2022 model has inherited the same design. If you’ve driven a BMW, you know exactly what I’m talking about. In essence, the shifting experience is literally in reverse order of what most cars have. Now, I’m not saying that’s a flawed design. In fact, I’d be curious to see the research as to why/how that’s more efficient, because it just might be. It’s definitely not bad, just different, and it takes a little bit of time to get used to.
Other than that, the ignition switch, being in the center console rather than where you’d typically see it (right behind the steering wheel) is, again, kitschy but not bad. It’s a nod to the British heritage these zippy little things have.