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“In-Car User Experience” Is Focus of NABA, WorldDAB

New UX guidelines are created with the North American radio market in mind

The North American Broadcasters Association has released the NABA Radio In-car User Experience (UX) Guidelines.

The document was produced by the NABA Radio Committee in collaboration with the WorldDAB Automotive Committee.

“This is a ‘North American version’ of the latest edition of the WorldDAB UX Guidelines, which have also just been updated,” NABA stated in the announcement.

“These guidelines have been created to inform automotive manufacturers and broadcasters on how to deliver the best possible radio user experience and are largely based on the results of consumer research. Consumer use cases in the UX Guidelines include users wanting to find radio easily in the car media system, to find radio stations easily, for the list of stations to be up to date, to be able to easily set a station as a pre-set, and to keep listening to a station if it is available.”

A comparison of the new NABA and WorldDAB UX Guidelines

For each of those use cases, the guidelines put forth a series of recommendations. So, for example, to help meet consumers’ desire to find radio easily, they state that car designs should include a permanent “Radio” button on the dash, console or top-level menu; that selecting “Radio” should default to HD Radio where available or go to a menu where radio platforms can be chosen; that in a hybrid radio system, the best available platform signal will be automatically selected, minimizing use of a station’s audio stream; that the factory default setting for HD Radio should be ON, but default behavior should be settable by the consumer, with separate settings for AM and FM bands; that if there is no “Radio” button, selecting a station is only two clicks from the media home screen; and that a mechanism should be provided for no more than “two-click” switching between a projection system like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and the car radio.

NABA Director-General Michael McEwen expressed thanks to WorldDAB for its collaboration. “We have been able to efficiently leverage their findings and apply them to the North American market, and the result is a more complete picture of radio listening for manufacturers.”

The documents also provide input on hybrid radio, including “service following,” improved visuals and the potential for interaction, it said. Here’s a link again to the guidelines.

Meanwhile, a new revision is out for the WorldDAB Radio UX Guidelines, first developed in 2018.

Those were created by the WorldDAB Automotive Working Group to provide clear guidance on how to deliver the best-possible digital radio user experience. New material includes hybrid radio; voice controls and phonemes; data on in-car radio listening; and service lists.