Audi user interfaces are as varied as their uses – ranging from inspiring websites to applications for a particular service. The aim is to create varied solutions and a well-balanced, system-wide user experience – from the app to the vehicle. The basis for this is provided by a joint set of components, modules and animations.
Structuring by means of tiles
Content can be displayed inside rectangular tiles. Tiles can appear in one of the brand colours or in a grey scale and are positioned flush with each other with narrow gaps between them.
It is also possible to place an image in a tile which covers the full space. Here, care must always be taken to ensure differentiation between the space inside the tile and the background.
Tiles can in turn be split within themselves based on the layout structure, in other words they can contain an image and a block of colour. If tiles are assigned one or more functions, they are known as cards.
Hierarchical Structure and Highlighting
Elements and content items that are important to the user are highlighted by means of their size and placement.
In this way, the relevance and status of elements is conveyed through the way they contrast with their background. Active and important elements contrast starkly with the background. Inactive and less important elements exhibit a less marked contrast.
Superimpositions should be avoided as a general rule for purely design-based reasons. From a functional point of view, superimpositions are often necessary, e.g. in the case of a sticky header. Here the block which is one level above the layout is given a subtle soft shadow.
If the superimposing block is to be shifted into focus, the background is darkened with 90 % black. One example of this is modals.
- Hard shadow applied is as subtly as possible. It is merely an aid to separating superimposed blocks of the same colour.
- It is always made up of two shadows: a short one and a long one. The long, soft shadow creates space and depth. The short shadow reinforces the clear separation of blocks.
- The shadow is not offset. As a result it is the same on all four sides in the case of an block that is not bled to the edge.
- The shadow can be individually adjusted in size and opacity depending on background, context and viewport. It remains as subtle as possible, however.
- Display of the shadow in the browser and application should be checked since the same shadow definition produces different results in different layout programmes in some cases.
Basic definition in CSS
(box shadow: horizontal offset, vertical offset, soft focus/size, spread, colour and opacity):
- box shadow: 0 0 [2px–4px] 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, [0.03–0.1]), 0 0 [20px–80px] 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, [0.03–0.15]);
Examples of adaptations of the basic definition:
- box-shadow: 0 0 2px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.05), 0 0 40px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.05);
- box-shadow: 0 0 4px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.03), 0 0 60px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.09);
- box-shadow: 0 0 2px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.05), 0 0 20px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.05);
Horizontal and Vertical Placement
Elements are placed vertically and horizontally flush to each other for a calm, balanced overall look. Clear axes provide orientation.
In the case of horizontal placement, a flexible and optionally applicable 12-column grid is helpful.
Vertical spacing between text and other elements is created in a uniform rhythm.
It is useful to establish a global basic unit of one quarter of the basic type size (0.25 rem). This is geared towards the text formatting. Based on this figure it is possible to define line spacing and baseline grids, margins and card padding, column spacing in the grid and other parameters.
With a basic type size of 16 px, for example, the interim column spacing and card spacing is 4px. As a basis for the vertical rhythm of text, this means the line spacing for a short reading text is a multiple of 4 px = 20 px.
The gradient for cut-out images is applied at an angle of 90° from top to bottom. Possible colours are white, black and grey tones from the colour palette. The lighter colour is always 5 %–10 % lighter than the darker one. In the case of a gradient lighter than 30 % black, the darker shade is at the bottom. With a darker gradient, the reverse applies and the lighter shade is at the bottom.
Size of Text and Components
Type sizes and some components are designed to be adaptable in size to viewport width and purpose. In this way the layout can be kept compact with small viewports and a generous overall look can be created for large viewports. The size of the components is linked to the defined basic type size in question.
All animations have the dynamic character defined in the look, giving an application a lively feel. They perform functional tasks in the interface and improve the user experience: they guide the user through an application, help provide visual orientation between two views, give feedback on interactions, support visual cues and provide information on status. All in all they ensure a sense of high quality.