Title: The 'Potato Head' method for identifying driver preferences for vehicle controls

Authors: P. Green, G . Paelke, J . Boreczky

Addresses: Associate Research Scientist, UMTRI, 2910 Baxter Rd., Ann Arbor, Mich., 48109-2150, USA. ' Research Assistant, UMTRI, 2910 Baxter Rd., Ann Arbor, Mich., 48109-2150, USA. ' Research Assistant, Computer Science Division - ECCS, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

Abstract: This paper describes a method for identifying customer preferences for product features (here, vehicle controls) and how to implement the method. In brief, people sit in a vehicle mockup surrounded by panels of switches. For each function of interest (e.g., headlights on/off, hazard, etc.). They select the switch they prefer and attach it to the instrument panel (covered with Velcro®) or the steering column where they want it. (This is much like the Mr Potato Head® toy where children construct a face from parts - eyes, noses, etc.). To identify poor choices, test participants then drive a simulator while operating the chosen switches. Afterwards, participants can change their preferences, which they often do. While applied to controls here, it could be used to determine preferences for displays or other features.

Keywords: vehicle controls; driver preferences; instrument panels; Potato Head; vehicle design; customer preferences; product features; vehicle displays; simulation; vehicle simulator.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.1992.061731

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 1992 Vol.13 No.4, pp.352 - 364

Published online: 27 May 2014 *

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