Why Highway Communication Sucks and How We Can Make It Suck Less


The average car has brake lights, reverse lights, turn signals which double as hazards, and little else to communicate to the rest of the world where we’re headed and how we plan on getting there. To make up for this, we’ve developed other ways of getting our message across, many of which are illegal, dangerous, or perceived differently in different parts of the world.

In this presentation, I’ll propose a drastic change to the design of the automobile—not in the engine or body shape, but the lights and the way we use them. The handful of lights we use today just don’t cut it. We need to adapt a new system of signals for safer, more efficient communication on the road.

But a new set of lights alone won’t solve our problems. We need a change in our own culture if the additions are going to be successful. I’ll discuss a few ways we can make this happen, and mention similar cultural changes that have succeeded in the past.

Clifton B

Website http://www.offchild.com/

I don’t like writing about myself in the third person. It’s just not right.

I’ve been studying interface design and user experience since the turn of the century. I like thinking about communication in interaction design, and how it can be improved.