Websites are essential to all business in the modern world, as the public (their customers), become ever more ‘hooked in’ to the worldwide web. In this blog, we have a look at how you can give your customers a cohesive experience across your website using inspiration from something else we all use… cars!

Indicators
Indicators, at their most basic, tell us to expect (indicate!) a change of direction so we know where the car in front is going - ultimately to prevent a collision. However Audi decided to take this one step further to improve the clarity of information given by indicators.

Source: http://i.makeagif.com/media/6-10-2015/_9TP15.gif

By making the strip indicator load in the direction intended, it makes it easier for our brain to process the information. It is reinforcing the already understandable information presented to us by the car. A small change – indeed it might seem insignificant, but powerful.

How does this relate to your website?
By using the same principles that Audi used in designing their indicator you can improve the user experience of your website or app considerably.

How can I make these changes?
The changes are relatively small and simple to make. Just like with indicators, it's all about clear signals for the user to follow, not cluttering up your website with 100 colours and buttons. Keep it simple and present all your website’s information in an easily digested format.

Personalisation
You don't normally associate personalisation with a car, it may be your car but most things come set up as standard. However some manufacturers are going one step further in their designs to give a more personal experience (this is before in-car A.I.).

Source: https://giphy.com/gifs/car-navigation-dual-i4NBWECAaleV2

In this example by Range Rover you can see how the centre console screen shows different images depending on where you are sat. This is a great example of personalisation for both the passenger and driver as they get the information they want and require separately.

Source: http://auto.xn----itbkqkfiq.xn--p1ai/images1/audi-tt-interior-1.jpg

In this example from inside an Audi TT you can see that the centre console is practically missing. This is heavily personalised to the driver as all the information is held within the driver's console.

How does this relate to my marketing?
By adding content to your website and emails that is personalised, you can increase time spent on your site and heighten your brand image. By adding even the smallest amount of personalisation to your website, it makes the user have a better connection and therefore, more trust in your business.

How can I make these changes?
There are changes big and small that can be made to achieve personalisation. These could be as simple as a blog call-to-action changing depending on whether you have visited the site already, or something more complex, such as changing all of the content on the website to reflect users’ interests and personalities.

Feedback
Another tactile way that cars work is through feedback. This is provided in many forms, from the usual tightening of the brakes, to more subtle methods, such as your radio volume increasing slightly when you’re driving over a certain speed. These little signs all tell you how your car is performing to help your drive be as smooth as possible.

Source: TwoGuys

How does this relate to my website?
Having actions happen when interacting with the website, such as roll-over states, give the user feedback whilst using your website. And in a similar way to the car indicators, the clearer and simpler the feedback, the more user friendly your site will be.

How can I make these changes?
Such changes can be made very simply on a website with a few lines of code. The simplest of course would be creating roll-over effects on your buttons so they change colour to show that they are active. Another nice way to feedback to users is to zoom an image slightly when it is hovered on.

Future ideas
What could the future hold for User Experience (UX) in cars? One idea could be brake lights that get brighter the harder the user applies the brakes.

Ultimately with your website, there are many small tweaks that you can make throughout that add up to a big increase in the trust of your brand. Making sure you have a helpful web design and development partner when looking at your website can make these changes that bit easier.

Are there any UX theories that you think are of particular importance in web design? We’d love to hear them.

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