UI bug on the radio controlls - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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UI bug on the radio controlls

I am to take it that Kia didn't have anyone test out there controls system before they released it to the users. On the steering wheel left side you have two up/down switches. The leftmost one controls the volume, and the other one can be used to scroll up and down through your presets on the radio. But that toggle doesn't work properly. If you have your radio turned on, and you have the screen that shows all your presets on the center console, then pushing the toggle up will move you up on the preset list, and down will move you down the list. What you would expect. But if you have the center console display on anything else, you can still move through the presets list using that toggle but if you toggle up then you move down the list, and if you toggle down you move up the list. It is the exact opposite as way you'd expect and contrary to how it works when the radio preference list is displayed.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 03:40 PM
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Yes, you are correct as I have noticed the same thing. Very strange, and it does seem to be an error in the UI.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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I tried to call Kia Customer Affairs Canada figuring that the problem is not a mechanical defect inside the car, so going to the dealer to complain will get nowhere as it's running as designed, and no physical part is broken. Rather it's a UI error and something in the firmware O/S programming on the UVO side.

That phone call didn't go nearly as well as I would have expected. After being on hold for 15 minutes, that is a bit longer that one would like, but better than some (like my cell phone company). The lady who answered the phone was ambivalent at best, and really didn't want to hear about what I was experiencing nor wanted to offer any support other than why didn't you go to your dealer and get them to look at it. So as a last ditch effort I asked to speak with a manager, figuring what do I have to lose. As expected, no manager was in so I asked to get one to call me back again expecting nothing more than a total brush off.

Wouldn't you know it, I got a call back from an actual manager within the hour. The gentleman I talked with was very polite and really did want to hear all the issues that I have had with the car, and even technical foopars inside the manual that really make zero sense for this vehicle. He took the time to understand what I found wrong and was eager to I assume take notes so that they can get sent off to the right department to get fixed. He even asked me if I have anything else that I notice that is wrong or confusing or just doesn't seem right / intuitive, to email him and gave me an open case number to reference. Now that is very impressive and blew me away for good (no, make that great) customer service.

Bravo Kia. I feel like a valued customer.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 05:24 PM
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I also noticed this when I got my 2017 and thought it was very odd. Thanks for taking the time and effort to hopefully get it resolved if possible.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 06:38 PM
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This is not a bug. It’s on purpose.

If you’re going from preset 1 to preset 2, are you going up or down? You’d probably say up.

But if you have a list on the screen in front of you saying:
Is going from 1 to 2 up or down? Well now it’s make no sense to press up to go visually “down” the list. That’d seem very backwards.

So when the list is displayed they need the button pressed to align to the visual. But when it’s not displayed, they are presuming that people will mentally think of it as “up.”

You can disagree, and you may be right, but it’s an intentional design choice.

Last edited by fredct; 10-22-2018 at 06:40 PM.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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I can see the logic that you are trying to use, and sadly as you and I were not the people who programmed the UVO, we are all simply speculating why certain things were done.

My point is not whether the rationale that they used to do the programming was right or wrong, but rather that the user interface becomes unintuitive because of the rationale that was used. If you think of the list of preferences more as like turning a dial to tune a radio in. As you spin the dial clockwise, you will tune the radio up the channels, and as you spin the dial counter-clockwise you tune down the channels. So it really doesn't matter if you are looking at the face of the radio to see the dial moving, or if you are sitting on a couch with a remote control and the stereo is in a totally different room, and instead of turning a dial, you press a left or right button, you have an expectation of it being the same button press or turn to get the same results. You might not be looking at the dial but you visually interpret the movement taking place.

Now you can play the same game with how confusing it was when the first mac came out that decided to reverse the scroll function. In windows it was always you would spin the mouse wheel downwards to scroll down. Seemed rather logical at the time, but Steve Jobs decided to shake it up and change the paradigm. The thought was that you spin the wheel forward and you are pushing the screen upwards and so revealing what was hidden below. And that is the way the mac works. So to say that one logic is right when you could paint the same function in the opposite direction by shifting the way you are looking at the problem.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 08:00 PM
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It might be intentional and have a logical reason for it, but it is not a good design decision. If you are on the station list and used to hitting the up button to go from Rock to Classical to Latin, etc, then that should be the same behavior when the list is not displayed.

And to address your Mac-Windows scroll wheel example, the difference is that the direction is consistent throughout the Operating Systems. If you are in Windows, all apps/programs scroll in the same way.

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Last edited by Nouseformonkeys; 10-22-2018 at 08:10 PM.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 06:48 AM
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This feature still trips me up after more the 6 months in the car. I wouldn't call it a bug since it's operating as intended, but it is definitely an awkward implementation.

I understand why they did it that way but it is a bit confusing to have the controls reverse based on the mode. I'm not sure I have a better idea of how to do it though other than changing the display in the radio screen so that the presets go from bottom to top or changing the default behavior of the steering wheel switch so that it matches the display. Either one seems equally confusing to me so I can't fault the UI designers for the choice they made. It's a consequence of how we expect selectors to work when there isn't any visual feedback (up to increase the setting, down to decrease) versus with how we expect to see lists displayed (top to bottom).

The only real solution I can think of would be to change the orientation from vertical to horizontal. If the switch was horizontal right would always move you forward through the list which would match how you would display the list on the screen. Of course, now you have to redesign the steering wheel buttons, possibly going to to a four way switch (up / down for volume, right / left for preset) and you've made the interior design team mad because the buttons on the wheel are asymmetric. In addition, the bean counters hate you because they have to pay for a more complicated switch.

In the end I suspect the UI designers were handed the steering wheel control layout and told to make it work and so here we are.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 12:45 PM
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I agree it’s confusing. I think it would be better to be consistent. I just think you might get further with them portraying it as confusing and not as a “big”.

Left-right would work, but saving a hardware change it would probably better to either: 1) make pressing up always do what it does on the screen. That way you can mentally picture the list and get it right, or 2) reverse the display so preset 1 is at the bottom and going up on presets goes up on the screen. It might not be what people expect but it would make the controls consistent.

Anyone have any experience on how other cars do it?
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