Adaption App

A research tool to examine driving styles and different feedback mechanisms at Stanford. 2015 - 2016 


I joined the CDR autonomous driving lab as a UX designer to interface between researchers, developers and large auto companies. I was the sole designer responsible for UX+UI design and managing developers to get the app to an usable state.

As a byproduct of a future with safe autonomous cars, the car will know how well you are driving. This represents an intriguing situation of being in control of a robot that may know how to control itself better (safer) than you. If the car is going to give the driver feedback to help them improve, in what ways can it do this that don’t cause antagonmism between driver and car?

This project was done in collaboration with two large auto manufactueres who were partnered with Stanford as well as a number of researchers for the lab. The final app is still being developed and I can further discuss details in person. This is a research tool that is aimed a helping a broad range of automotive research in understanding contexts, moods and personalities of drivers and how that influences driving styles. From a design perspective it also represents an exploratory approach to how personalised instructional information can be displayed. This was tested with experts and lay users to understand it’s impact on recipients using a variety of UX research methods.




My involvement in the project.
When I came onto the project it was on the verge of splitting into 3 different apps for slightly different purposes.
I brought the stakeholders together to define the required features and built a single app pipeline by prioritising timelines and development schedules.
This gave me time to individually work with the stakeholders and distill the features down into core requirements for the research studies.

Once this core pipeline was agreed upon and iterations were being produced, I was able to build out the app into a feature rich experience that could be used for multiple research purposes. This allowed me to run usability testing similar to that which would be done if the app was being scheduled for a wider release.



The app’s interface when I started on the project.

Workflow sketch plotting out UI/UX interactivity for prototyping.

This project allowed me to manage the development schdules and spearhead the design of a software tool that had to be as robust and feature rich as something that would be placed on the market. I was the intersection point between the the corporate partnership (two auto manufacturers who were partnered on the project), development (students from the university), researchers (from Stanford’s CDR), and participants (recruited from the bay area).

UX workflow of app, prior to UI redesign.

Getting a functioning tool was prioritised as we were on a limited schedule with the developers. After this initial milestone which resulted in the app as shown above, multple rounds of usability testing was conducted with research participants to refine how information was being presented and simplify the user interface. This resulted in the app as seen in the top image on this page.



V.1.0 Design. Built torecord and provide initial feedback. This version allowed us to user test to develop more polished versions (below).




V.2.0 Design (left). Final version on left, with multiple preceeding versions to the right. Multiple rounds of user testing was conducted to wittle down information to the most salient.




© Hamish Tennent 2017