case study

Designing to Reduce Distracted Driving Whitepaper

Project overview

As a regular commuter, I’m particularly sensitive to issues of driving behavior, particularly distracted driving. When tasked by a professor in my graduate “Prototyping and Interaction Design” course to “write a whitepaper”, I chose to tackle the topic of designing to reduce distracted driving, using user experience research techniques to gather information and validate designs.


After coming up with the initial concept, I wanted to figure out the most common issues worthy of designing warnings for, so I invited acquaintances to take a survey on driving “pet peeves”.


I sketched concepts, validated with immediate family, then produced a first draft of the warning designs in photoshop.


When we were unexpectedly given an extension on the assignment, I took advantage of the extra time to dispatch a second survey, this time to find out how people interpreted my warning designs.

Designs that people accurately identified the majority of the time, I considered successful. Designs that were frequently misinterpreted, got redesigned before the final draft of the paper.


The final product represents a theoretical framework for how design can help us combat distracted driving. As disclaimed in the whitepaper, significant research is still needed, but the designs seem to be a start.

Tools & methods:

  • Survey
  • High-fidelity design
  • Unmoderated research
  • Whitepaper

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