Experience Switch

The drive mode switch is a rotary knob that allow to choose between driving modes such as sport and off-road. As part of a pre-development project, me and another UX designer were tasked with upgrading the existing concept.

Production version in VW Tiguan | Volkswagen Newsroom

Our goal

After initial discussions and brainstorming sessions with stakeholders from Volkswagen, it was clear to us that we had to stick to the basic function of the FES, i.e. quickly adapting the vehicle to current needs. However, the adaptation should not be limited to driving behavior, but should include everything that makes up the driving experience in a modern vehicle.


We held a kick-off workshop with stakeholders from various specialist areas, which revolved around the question:

What defines the driving experience for whom, in which situation?

Methodologically, we adapted and compacted the classic design thinking steps so that we could make the most of them in our workshop.

    • 1 Understanding needs

      by creating personas and deriving user needs

      2 Defining scope

      by clustering and evaluating results

      3 Developing ideas

      to adress identified user needs

      4 Preparing structure

      from selected and combined ideas

      5 Creating interactions

      by sketching out concrete solutions
  • Concept 1 – Layers

    Drive Modes and Atmospheres can be operated in parallel and can therefore be combined as required. The Atmospheres are subordinate and subtly adapt their parameters to the selected drive mode.

    The background to this is the assumption that drive modes and atmospheres are not necessarily related from the user's perspective. The selection of drive modes is still regarded as a central element.

    Concept 2 – Combined

    We wanted to find a concept which corresponds better to a rotary controller and could be controlled on just one level. So we mapped the driving experience to a gradual range of values. It ranges from a relaxed ride with full technical support to a maximum sporty ride where the driving experience itself becomes dominant.

    When the driving experience switch is turned, the associated app is opened. The center screen displays suitable options to activate, deactivate or fine-tune. This allows user to customize his driving experience.


    After the pre-developement project, some iterations and the addition of volume control, Volkswagen has brought the Driving Experience Switch into series production.




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