Exploring the future of car cockpit interfaces for Mini

In 2010, I had the privilege of leading a four-day design thinking workshop at the Rubika design university of Valenciennes. Collaborating with a group of twenty talented master students, we embarked on an exploration of the potential future of car user interfaces for the renowned brand, Mini, by considering evolving user lifestyles and upcoming technologies.

Day 1 • Brainstorming & Desk Research
During the initial day of the workshop, we introduced the design brief and conducted a productive brainstorming session to generate initial hypotheses. In the latter part of the day, the students conducted comprehensive desk research, exploring technology, driver psychology, future trends, and benchmarking analysis. By the end of the day, we formed six teams, each with a refined focus on a specific aspect of the brief.
Day 2 • Insights presentation and project definition
On the second day, each team presented their insights and embarked on ideation, addressing a specific problem they aimed to solve. To establish clear project definition and objectives, user stories and user flow diagrams were generated as the foundation for their projects.
Day 3 • Ideation and evaluation
The third day of the workshop was dedicated to ideation. Each team selected a solution that addressed a specific problem identified during the research phase. Through sketches and user scenarios, ideas were generated and evaluated based on predefined criteria. The best ideas were then selected for further development and rapid prototyping.
Day 4 • Rapid Prototyping
The fourth day was an intensive day of prototyping. Each team developed the concepts they had selected and prepared prototypes that demonstrated the intended user experience for the final presentation. Wireframes, as well as paper and cardboard prototypes, were created to bring the concepts to life.
Day 5 • presentation and testing
The last day of the workshop was dedicated to presenting the different concepts and their associated user experiences. Students showcased interactive prototypes and user scenarios, illustrating the experiences and benefits of their projects. The result was a diverse range of seven innovative and unique concepts that reimagined the possible future of car cockpit interfaces for the Mini brand.
Day 5 • presentation and testing
As part of the presentation, the students demonstrated the intended experience using rapid prototypes or videos. These prototypes facilitated rapid testing and evaluation, providing insights into the relevance and potential for further development of the ideas.
This workshop fostered creativity and collaboration, pushing the boundaries of car interface design. The concepts and prototypes developed during these five days offered fresh perspectives and showcased the potential for transformative car cockpit interfaces.