Pioneer DEH6000 Essay

This essay has a total of 1722 words and 7 pages.

Pioneer DEH6000



In today’s society many products are released into the market without first going through
a proper evaluation phase. Designers must take into account the needs of the user by
inviting prospective consumers to evaluate their products and to point out improvements in
the interface or design. When designers fail to incorporate the user’s needs, the
product’s economic success is in serious jeopardy. If the product is too hard to operate
then the consumer may opt for a better version, often looking toward the competition to
have their needs met. In order for a product to be successful in today’s market,
user-based evaluation must be incorporated in the design process.

This paper will critique the interface design of the Pioneer DEH-P6200 in-dash CD-player.
Pioneer has revolutionized the car stereo industry with its latest line of CD-players.
The DEH-P series offers the user with all the functions of a regular CD-player along with
some added components and extras. Each in dash car stereo in the series includes a
multi-depth CD-player (8cm and 12cm), car alarm, equalizer and a built in sub-woofer
amplifier all in one. Unfortunately, all the extras included in the DEH-P6200 add
functionality, which in turn requires increased time for learning and much more for the
user to commit to memory. Intermediate to advanced car stereo users, those who have owned
or installed a car stereo, should have no trouble learning to operate the DEH-P6200. Due
to some failed design conventions many first time car stereo users may struggle and may
not be able to operate this device at all.


At first glance the user may have trouble finding the most important button, the main
power button. Located near the lower left side of the interface, the power button is a
small round button labeled “SOURCE”. The button has a green illumination, which catches
the users attention, but size and location seems to decrease this button’s ease of use.
Since this is one of the most important functional buttons, it could be larger and more
visible. The designers probably choose to label this button “SOURCE” because the button
also controls which source is currently being used - CD, tuner, or changer-control. First
time users would greatly benefit from separate buttons for changing the source and
switching the power on and off.

The “SOURCE” button, once the power is on, allows the user to switch between the 3
different modes of the CD-Player: CD, tuner, and changer-control. The interface also
allows the user to switch to the equalizer from any of the main three modes. When
switching between the different modes, the color of the light around the Master Volume
Control changes to help the user determine which mode they are currently in. If the user
switches to equalizer mode the light changes to blue, which coincides with the blue
display graph of the equalizer just to the right of the volume knob.

Feedback is a very important factor, and this control does rather well. Every time the
button is pressed, a soft tone is played to let the user know that he/she has properly
pressed the button. When used for the on/off function, the stereo’s interface lights up
when the button is pushed which makes it easy to determine the state of the unit. The
trouble comes when the user wants to turn off the unit. The “SOURCE” button must be
pressed and held for 3 seconds to turn the device off. The user has no way of knowing
this unless he/she has read the instruction manual or has any prior knowledge about car
stereos.

Every button on the DEH-P6200, when pressed, has some sort of feedback. The designers
have even incorporated different tones for volume up or down, as well as separate tones
for each equalizer preset. The best example of feedback that can be seen in this model is
the auto-scan function on the tuner. When the user presses and holds down the scan
button, a small tone is played each time to tell the user to let go of the control. If
the button is held to long a series of beeps let the user know they have done something
wrong.

Another main control is the Master Volume Dial, which is the circular knob located near
the left side of the interface. Like most car stereos, Pioneer has chosen a round knob
that affords turning either left or right. This button, like the source button, is also a
multi-purpose button. It controls the master volume as well as all of the different
presets for the equalizer. To switch back and forth between the volume and equalizer
control, the user must push the center of the knob. There is a small circular depression
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