The chosen model is BMW 4 Series; and the user is an old man. This model of the car has a number of specialized characteristics which are associated with its design. However, there are a number of constraints or limitations associated with this model. Despite the availability of various models and brands of vehicles, BMW 4 Series is tailored with various features that are suitable for use by the old man as well as other users in different age brackets. Some of the features are associated with safety, utility, comfort, emotion, identity as well as spirituality of a vehicle.
BWM F20 Series Design
The design of BMW 4 Series includes a body made of limousine. Its transmission is manual while the minimum restriction age is 19 years. The car has a maximum capacity of five people at the time. More specifically, BMW 4 Series has a design that is more user-friendly as compared to other car models. The car has three doors which are made specifically to provide a more sporting car than the ones with four doors. Its the front engines rear drive giving it an enthusiast on the roads making it one of the fastest cars on the roads. This model has the M-performance boasted at 320hp turbocharged which is an improvement from other BMW models.
The car has an increased interior space as compared with other model of BMWs. In fact, the rear seat can be adjusted to two or three passengers depending on the immediate needs of the user. The upgraded cabin touches giving the user a more hyped feel while using it. Moreover, its interior space has a well updated iDrive as well as an optional connected drive that is used for mobility services. On the same, its body length is more than that of the previous BMW models. It has a more wheel base of about 30mm. The width of the car is also more because it has been extended by about 17mm. This makes the car unique and more stable.
The model is also enhanced through the use of twin windowless doors. The rear wise windows are made in the way that they flow into the rear end of the door where they meet the C pillar. The base of the car is made of contoured side skirts. As the vehicle moves along a highway, they seem as if they are sweeping along (Deals of the Week 56). The side skirts give the car a wider aggressive stance by its look. The car is also accompanied by an x-drive feature which appears on the 5-door feature. There is also an auto-start manual which is made standard across the line. The 320hp BMW can be slowed down using the fixed sports callipers which has four pistons units with a front axle in addition to the two piston callipers in the rear side (Lewin 307). Moreover, the rear pistons have the oversized brake discs coupled by dark metallic callipers which bear an M-logo. The presence of the M sport brake system makes BMW 4 Series more user-friendly and safe as compared to other car models.
Identification of the User Needs
The brand preferences of car users worldwide are based on a number of factors which include the price, comfort, user-friendliness, speed, and utility additional capabilities among others. The user must be able to master how to drive the car easily. BMW 4 Series incorporates the use of an architectural design which means that the interfaces used in their car models are easy to predict how certain tasks or behavior are executed. The development and integration of the car models can be enhanced by reducing the tasks that have to be carried out by the user to accomplish a certain need. For instance, BMW 4 Series integrates various tasks that can be accomplished by the use one action. The primary and secondary tasks can be integrated together to meet the needs of the user more easily.
With an increased competition in the world car manufacturers, designers are now working on enhancing the user experience. Users are supposedly to be incorporated in every design to an extent of providing them with a magic so that they can love or buy that particular car. Users needs are reflected in BMW 4 Series. This is evident in the meanings attached to this model of the vehicle. Some of tangible expressions related to a BMW includes: safety, utility, comfort, emotion, identity as well as spirituality. These expressions are related in an interactive structure because they reflect on certain cultural values as well as a local context of different users across the globe. The social practice related to the design or model of a BMW plays a dynamic role in shaping the users travel needs of both the old and the young.
This study targets the old ones whereby this model structures are attached to various levels of meaning such as practical, social and cultural meanings. This means that if the designers have to identify the meanings of the vehicle to meet the needs of the older users of this model of the vehicle. Evidently, the needs of users vary greatly. Some of these needs are influenced by the technological, cultural as well as social contexts (Lewin, 307). The ability of a designer to meet the diverse needs of its users can be attained through the research methodology, design and theory. This will lead to the development of a vehicle perspective model through the use of the best methodological and approaches in its design.
The travel needs an identification model of older users needs, a unique framework, an information model, and a user-based needs model. In this case, the needs of the user in designing a BMW can be fulfilled through carrying out the research to meet their needs something that the BMW Company has been able to do. This has made it possible to transfer such designs to other domains and accommodate them into other cultural contexts.
User Tasks to Accomplish the Needs
The user of the BMW car model has various tasks to accomplish in order to meet the various needs of the car. Virtually, the manufacturer of the car focuses on the tasks that can be accomplished by the product while a buyer will focus on the goal that he or she can achieve using the product being bought. However, the user has to accomplish certain tasks in order to meet his or her needs. The user must be able to maintain and service the car regularly. This way, the car will be able to meet the required needs at any time. When the car is not checked regularly; there is the likelihood that the car will develop complications. As a result, the performance of the car will be affected. Nevertheless, the manufacturer is not to be blamed for the users failure to accomplish his or her tasks. For instance, ignorance and reckless can affect the life of any car. Such a user will not be able to meet the desired needs as he or she has failed in maintaining the car.
The car should be maintained in line with the manufacturers recommendations. This will help in making the active systems in the vehicle to operate effectively. The end user should be able to maintain the car for his or her own benefits. Once the car is maintained properly, it is going to give the desired services which are in line with what the manufacturer has estimated. The proper maintenance of the car results into reduced costs of replacing the worn-out of broken parts which are expensive especially in some models of vehicles such as the BMW. Consecutively, the proper maintenance reduces the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, hence, contributing in protecting the environment. However, it is worthy to note that user design cannot be constructed but users have to adapt to the use of the certain model of the car. Notably, the elegance of the BMW F20 does not imply that the user experience is incorporated in any car that is bought. However, the concept used in developing the car is standardized to enhance the basics in using the automobile. Usability of the certain brand is related to the pragmatic qualities of the product that leads to satisfaction. Satisfaction will only be met if the product enables the user to meet certain goals. In this case, the user also has the role to play to ensure that the needs are met. The user must exhibit some features in order to use this model of the vehicle. As earlier stated, the BMW 4 Series is a common brand that is used worldwide by various countries. However, there are different models of the BMW whose choice depends on the preferences of the user. In this case, the user used in this paper is an old person. Virtually, an older person will need more comfort and utility as compared to the youth who will focus on the entertainment aspects. In this case, the user will choose the brand based on his or her preferences at that particular moment.
Some of the user features or characteristics include the following ones: firstly, the user must be in the position to afford this brand of car. The ability to afford the BMW $ Series goes hand in hand with the users capacity to maintain the vehicle. As a result, the car gives the user maximum utility. Secondly, the user must have a driving experience. To drive the BMW, the user must be a trained driver so that he can take care of the vehicle by using it in line with the manufacturers recommendations. Since the focus is given to an old person, it would be rather hard to find such a person unable to drive especially in the first world countries. They offer a large market for BMWs. This is a key attribute that the user must possess in order to maintain this model of the car. The user must experience as a driver. In this case, someone with an experience in driving will find it easier to interact with this kind of the car. For instance, the user can accomplish a number of needs by just executing one task. On the contrary, a person who is new with a steering wheel will find it a hurdle to execute some of the actions and may regard this as a constraint. The reason why the BMW 4 Series fits the features of an old person is that such kind of a person needs comfort and reduced labor by use of user-friendly interfaces among others. Lastly, but not the least, the user must be careful and skillful in both maintaining and using the car. Therefore, it is evident that the capabilities of the user in using or buying a certain car are related to the value that the car is going to offer in respect to his or her preferences.
Environments of Use
The BMW F20 Series can be used on any conducive environment. The usability of this car in the given environment depends on whether the condition of use especially the roads facilitate the maintenance of the car. When used on well-developed roads, the BMW is able to give the best services to the user. The BMW has been working on developing a hybrid car in the process of reducing the amount of harmful gases released into the atmosphere. However, this is a path that has not been realized in full. Therefore, the BMW 4 Series series still uses gas and electricity. However, they have a specialized mechanism that makes it possible for their models to limit the amount of carbon dioxide released into the environment.
Despite the myriad advantages associated with the use of the BMW F20, there are a number of constraints as they are the case with any other product. People have different social and cultural values which make them have the diverse taste and preferences for a product. As a result, it is hard to design the car that will meet all these needs. For instance, in some countries, they have been accustomed to driving the car on the left while in some countries; the steering wheel is on the right. As a result, some will call it the constraint when they are driving on the left while others on the right. Hence, the needs will always vary. To try and satisfy the diverse needs of customers, the BMW manufactures cars that have either the right or left steering wheel. This gives customers some varieties from where to a shop from. Offering the variety of brands of the same vehicle with different features help to reduce the constraints exhibited by users (Alfieri 16). Another constraint may be related to the initial cost of buying a car and the maintenance cost. The BMW is one of the most expensive cars in the world. This means that only few individuals can afford. This is the reason why only people who have worked for years like an old man can afford them.
Design for Each User in Terms of How it Facilitates/Impacts Their Ability to Carry Out Their Tasks.
The design of the BMW 4 Series facilitates the user in carrying out their tasks in various ways. The car has a manual transmission which implies that the user is in a full control of the vehicle. Its body is made of a limousine something that facilitates its safety and comfort. The car also has three doors limiting the amount of distraction as one tries to get in or out of the vehicle. In this case, the person seated at a rear seat is more comfortable as compared to the scenario where the car has four doors. This is complemented by the fact that the rear seat can be configured to two or three people (Lewin 307). This implies even the person can even make a bed at the back of the car. These features enhance the tasks to be carried out by the user of the vehicle.
The performance of the vehicle also impacts the ability to carry out various tasks. For instance, the engine of the car enables it to be one of the fastest on the roads. As a result, the driver does not need to keep on struggling to increase the speed along the highway. The engines performance is boosted at 320hp. This speed can be slowed down by the use of fixed sports callipers which has four pistons units with a front axle in addition to two piston callipers in the rear side as well as the presence of efficient brakes. The interior of the vehicle is made with upgraded materials that give the user a softer feel when being inside the vehicle. There are also other well updated iDrivers with varieties of connected devices.
Possible Design Solutions
Some of the possible design solutions are mainly based on additional capabilities of the car. For the increased utility and comfort, the car should be able to offer a variety of services by a single action. Indeed, the BMWs focus on offering their users with the best cars provided that they can meet the cost. This is reflected in the behaviors of some customers who do mind about the cost of the car provided that this offers them what they need (Lewin 307). As a result, some of the solutions will have some added additional capabilities such as connected services which can be more useful in improving the driving experience.
Entertainment services can also be enhanced in the given car to offer improved and newer options. The design can be enhanced through the use of the icon-based design which makes it easy to access these connected services. This will also be used in accelerating the discovery and access more applications both in the design of the car and other facilities to improve user needs. The experience in Smart phones can be mirrored in cars. However, some care should be taken since such an application will require a more integrated approach which is necessary for the functioning of the automobile. Such design technology will help in improving services such as music and information among others such as the location of the car.
Fig. 2.BMW 4 Series Couple;Car Body Design; Carbodydesign.com,25 Jun. 2013; Web; 9 Dec. 2013.
The above figure shows a BWM 4 Series with only 2 doors. Despite the advantages of using two or three doors for the BMW, the design should not be too rigid on three doors but should also offer varieties with some with three doors from which the customers can shop from.
Fig. 3.BMW 4 Series Couple;Car Body Design; Carbodydesign.com,25 Jun. 2013; Web; 9 Dec. 2013.
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The above figure shows a 4-Series coupe with the M performance (fig. 5) that enhances the tasks that can be integrated by a user at a time. There are various tasks that a user can complete at the dashboard of the car. It also depicts the comfort that can also be incorporated in the BMW 4 Series.
Design solutions can be enhanced through innovations. For instance, the company is working advancing its course in technology such as the use communication and information devices.
Fig. 4. Joy is Full of Possibilities; BMW; bmw.co, n. d.; Web; 10 Dec. 2013.
The figure shows a portable navigation plus and pros which has an Internet connection and Bluetooth among other hands free devices to reduce the number of tasks the user has to execute in order to successfully achieve the certain need.
It is indeed probably hard to design a car in line with the drivers experience. However, it is possible to design the car in the way it meets the needs of users in various ways enhancing their satisfaction. Indeed, the user needs and tasks that the user has to carry out to enhance the satisfaction while suing the car does not mean that the user has acquired the designer experience. The designer must be able to meet the needs of the user maximally through the use of special features that facilitate the tasks by the user. For instance, for the easy maintenance of the vehicle such as the BMW 4 Series whose spare parts are expensive, the designer or the manufacturer must ensure that the parts used are easily available and can last for long. Designers should have in mind that they can only design for the user experience but not design the experience itself because it is not practical. Designing for the user experience is crucial in enabling the user to achieve the needs and goals of using the car.
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