Automotive > In-Vehicle UX Blog

Ford SYNC Changes Positive, but Are They Enough?

by Chris Schreiner | Nov 08, 2011

Ford announced upgrades to SYNC’s interface, which are meant to make it easier to use and more visually pleasing. These upgrades will be available to all MyFord Touch owners via a USB that will be mailed to them over the coming months. The list of improvements include:

  • larger and bolder fonts,
  • less clutter,
  • better labeling of tabs
  • moving from two lines of information on each tab to one
  • LED buttons for radio bands
  • one-touch access to both driver and passenger climate controls from control screen
  • increased use of icons on phone screen.

All of these changes should improve the usability of the visual interface. As noted in our original review of MyFord Touch, users had some difficulty with the tab structure. Removing clutter and labeling each tab can help users locate and use these tabs more effectively.

While this fixes certain user experience issues customers are currently facing, the question remains where does SYNC go from here? As we previously noted, Ford was falling behind in terms of look and feel for the connected car. With smartphone integration, consumers will want an interface more closely resembling their own smartphone, which will allow for easy discoverability of apps that are available while driving. The addition of some icons in this upgrade is a small step in the right direction.

The navigation tab on SYNC can easily be changed to an apps tab, with navigation simply being one of the apps available. The gradual move towards more icons may allow Ford to provide a more icon-centric apps tab without jarring the overall look and feel of SYNC. If Ford is able to do this, then these updates will not only help current users, but provide a more seamless transition in the visual interface once more applications are added.

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