The UX of the Nissan Keyless Key

Nissan has a standard key fob system.


You don’t need to take it out of your pocket.  I love this system and find myself confused when I am in a car that requires the key to manually be inserted into the steering column.

It is good, but has some terrible flaws.  If someone knows the person who designed this, I have a few bones to pick.  Thusly…

Pocket Alarming
Notice the alarm button.  It is no harder to press than the lock button.  When I have it in my pocket while seated and then get up, it will often trigger the alarm.  This happens frequently because my desk is in range of the car at work.  This means I set the alarm off for no reason and create sound pollution.  All they need to do is make that alarm button be a tiny bit harder to press.

When you lock the doors with the key, the car makes a short honking noise.  It’s trying to tell you, “Yeah, it’s locked.”  However, if a door is ajar, then it will not make the noise.  Absence of feedback is not feedback.  I want a different noise.  Something that sounds like “Something is wrong!”  Like “Wah Waaaahhhh” trombone or “nyghhhheah” buzzing.  When you walk away from the car, there should be no doubt that locking the doors worked.

Additionally, when you press the handle button (which works because the key fob is in your pocket) and a door is ajar, will lock the door, but not lock the door that is ajar.  In other words, it’s a partial fail and needs active audible feedback.

Valet Holder
When I drop my car off at a garage, you leave the key with them.  The Altima has a spot to put the key, but the Cube doesn’t.  If it does, I certainly can’t find it.  Having a spot for the key is important.  Last time I couldn’t find the key when I got the car back.  The key slipped under the seat and I had no idea where it was.  What a pain!

Every thing has lots of little design elements.  You get them all right and it’s delightful.  Get them wrong and it’s annoying.  Do I blame the whole car for the faults of the key fob? Damn right I do.  And so does everyone else, even if it’s unconsciously.  Little things make big differences.

Whatya think?