Jony Ive is not a fan of cars that use a lot of touchscreen controls and says that the interface is “inappropriately driven by something like multitouch”.
During a panel with former Apple design lead Tim Cook and Lauren Powell Jobs at the Vox Media Code conference tonight, journalist Kara Swisher asked Ive what he thought of current design trends. Ive says there are “fantastic affordances with interfaces like multitouch”, but says they may have gone too far in places – and it may be time to switch back to more physical controls.
“The pendulum might swing a little bit toward having interfaces and products that are more tactile and more physically engaging,” Ive said. Swisher points out that cars are an example of multitouch being used more, and Ive responds “for example”.
As more cars use touchscreens for things like climate or drive controls, there is debate over whether removing physical buttons and knobs will reduce driver safety. Recently, a Swedish publication V Bilagare The debate was fueled by a test that measured how long it took people to do specific tasks, such as turning on the radio or adjusting the temperature. The publication announced that physical buttons have overtaken touchscreens.
Swisher followed up her question by asking Ive how he would design the car. “You know I can’t talk to you about that,” he told her, laughing.