I’ve been renting a lot of cars lately for work and pleasure and I still find that there are so many usability issues with them that it is embarrassing.

Take for example the new Chevy Malibu “Classic” – different than the Maxx. I drove it this past weekend and there are some fairly major usability issues:

  • the doors have to be slammed shut – difficult when you arms are full
  • the trunk won’t close every time even when it is slammed – damn annoying
  • the drivers cup holder only holds one size drink and is bottom-less, so unless you happened to pick up the correct size you are out of luck

These may seem like little things, but they could be big ones. For instance I’m pretty sure I left one of the doors ajar all night – that could have been bad. I might have tried to put a hot cup of coffee in my drink holder while driving – very bad.

These are pretty obvious to someone just using it for a 3 day weekend. Simple to find just by observing users, having participants journal or by doing a usability test.

I hope the next version of this car is better and that they spend some time with people who drive cars.