About the Tesla Model 3

Personally, I think Tesla shares more with Apple than it does with other car brands. The hype, the fanboys, and the quirks. So although I’ve never driven (or even gotten near) a Model 3. I have some gripes with what I’ve seen of it so far. And most of this stem from two areas I consider myself knowledgable in, User Experience and Cars.

Lets start by trying to unlock the car and get in. Where’s that key?

There isn’t one. Not really. To get in your Tesla Model 3, you need to have your mobile app up and running. It then recognises it, unlocks the car for you and is ready to start. Which is really convenient isn’t it?

model 3 key app

It sure is. Until you lose your phone. Or run out of juice before getting to your car.

But surely there is a secondary normal key for emergencies right? As my Austrian friends would say; “Jein”, Ja+Nein. Yes and No. There is a “secondary” key. But it is not what you’d expect. The secondary key is just a hotel style keycard that you can swipe near the B pillar to unlock your car. Which would make sense that you keep it on you in case your phone runs out of juice. And since it doesn’t have a “key hole”, you’d have to keep it in your wallet.


Tesla model 3 secondary key


Enough fiddling with keys, lets get in, and take a look at that neat interior


model 3 dashboard

Looks nice and uncluttered. You control everything in this car except for the hazard lights using this screenWith that huge iPad like screen. But is this enough? In User Experience a base concept is that the more “hoops” you have to jump to perform common tasks, the more complex the system.

So lets say you want to turn on interior lighting for example in your car. In almost all cars, all you need to do is push a button and the light is on. Not in the Model 3 though. To do that you would have to:

  1. Tap the Settings icon.
  2. Go to Lights.
  3. Switch Dome lights to On
Tesla model 3 light settings
Photo from Doug DeMuro’s video.

That’s 3 steps to do something that only takes 1 step in other cars. So that’s 3 times more complicated.

This is just an example of my gripes with the Model 3.

Now don’t get me wrong, I really like Tesla, I like how they are really the only real disruptor of the Automotive market. I like their tech and their cars. But this time, I really don’t like the UX.


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