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WorldDAB Introduces In-Car Digital Radio UX Guidelines

The document aims to help improve digital radio user experience in the car, says organization

Drivers expect a great, simple user experience, says WorldDAB. Photo courtesy of WorldDAB.

What do drivers want from their digital radio in the car and how can broadcasters and car manufacturers respond to these requirements? To help answer these questions, WorldDAB has released a set of guidelines containing information on how to deliver the best possible digital radio user experience.

Developed by the WorldDAB Automotive Working Group, the guidelines, based on consumer research carried out in five different European countries, are the result of collaboration between broadcasters and car manufacturers. The information is constructed around seven use-cases, where drivers were asked to carry out simple tasks using different car radios.

According to WorldDAB, the study demonstrates that drivers expect a great, simple user experience, with a radio button to access DAB easily and quickly. In addition, says the organization, the analysis found that an A-Z station list provides the best way to search for stations, pre-sets should be easy and intuitive to set, and that terminology must be consistent and easier to understand.

The document is split into seven consumer use cases based on user requirements. These are: To find DAB radio easily in the car media system; to find DAB stations easily; to have the list of stations to be up to date; to be able to easily set a station as a preset; to keep listening to their station if it’s available; to know more about what they are listening to; and to have the DAB radio to be set up for them.

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The recommendations outline design parameters and hardware requirements or technical references where applicable for each of the above scenarios, explains WorldDAB. They also recommend that buttons have consistent behavior between FM and DAB and, to ensure best performance, dual DAB tuners and a good antenna implementation are required.

“Drivers love radio, to the extent that 82 percent of people wouldn’t buy a car without it — so we need to make sure that the next generation of radio delivers the best possible experience to drivers,” said Laurence Harrison, Chair of the WorldDAB Automotive Group.

“These guidelines have been developed to help broadcasters and automotive OEMs better understand what consumers want from their radio and how best to deliver it. We’ve distilled this down to seven consumer use cases and, when delivered together, these form a simple, easy to use interface. This document will continue to evolve, and we’d encourage all interested parties to get in touch with their thoughts and contributions.”

WorldDAB says this document is part of its ongoing work to help improve the user experience of digital radio in the car. It is available to download from the WorldDAB website.