Minterior UX

Self 2024

Since most of my projects for Automotive brands are under NDA it is not possible to share much of the concepts, ideas and visuals I've been fortunate to create either alone or mostly as part of a team over the years. MINTERIOR is a passion project I did for myself exploring the combination of my skills in UI Design, Animation and Industrial Design. It means "Minimal Interior" and seeks to address the ever increasing flood of features in modern car cockpits. The current dominance of touch controls and screens is leading to more driver distraction and is depriving people of the haptic feedback that is key for an intuitive and safe interaction with the vehicle's controls. Apart from undeniable safety benefits it's just more fun to turn a physical dial or push a hardware button than it is to swipe your finger on a slick glass surface.

I sought to find a good balance between touch screens and haptic controls, e.g. the HVAC unit features dials with small screens inside them. Another example are the physical buttons on the steering wheel that enable the driver to "feel" the function rather than having to look at it. Above all I wanted the UI to show only the most relevant information and offer the right amount of controls for each situation.


I started sketching out the idea and then went into Figma building the screens. An extensive part of the design exploration was the map style. Initially I wanted to go with a white map but once I saw it in the bigger context of the dark interior materials and the instrument cluster I chose a dark map and UI theme.

The user story is based in San Diego thus I needed detailed 3D map data of the area. I used a plugin for Blender to import the map data, including terrain, buildings and streets. Then I styled the map in Cinema4D and rendered the route animation in Redshift.

The UI animations for both the instrument cluster and the head unit screen (incl. the compositing of the 3D map animation) were done in AfterEffects. In the end I brought the UI comps back into Cinema as animated textures and rendered the final animation with Redshift using lens effects.

The animation shows a short user journey from 1) the start up to 2) an incoming message to 3) setting a destination and getting directions on the map and in the instrument cluster... and of course 4) confirming the playlist recommendation for a Lazy Sunday drive to beautiful Balboa Park, San Diego.

Get in touch

Linkedin iconEmail icon


Sketch art

Benjamin Kuhn
Carlsbad, California
© 2024