Too many buttons... - Page 2 - Rennlist - Porsche Discussion Forums


Too many buttons...


Old 02-20-2017, 08:02 PM
Rennlist Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Illinois
Posts: 536

"Driving" and normal comfort stuff needs to be on buttons in the P-cars. Not so much BMW and M-B. I just left the Mercedes club to come back to Porsche and they have different missions altogether. Just look at MBWorld vs Rennlist. Not too many "engineering" discussions on the former.

Outside of driving controls, PCM has been exceptionally crude and is an embarrassment to Porsche compared to what else is out there. The PCM in my '15 Porsche is clumsy and ridiculous compared to the Command system in the Mercedes. Not even close. If you drive the Boxster/Cayman/911 it doesn't matter, because you don't turn on the sound system, and most of us don't really need NAV.

I just had to get that out there. Maybe the very latest iteration of PCM is completely worked over but I doubt it would be, for transitional purposes, as Porsche is very careful to do those things in a very measured manner.
HD2pct is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2017, 09:41 PM
pmichaelis's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 177

If people can handle a piano keyboard without address labels, or computer keyboards without looking, dealing with this logical assembly of switches is a cakewalk. I know, I've been doing it for 6 years.
pmichaelis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2017, 11:57 PM
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Chicago
Posts: 350

I find it easy to use and logical. Loved it since the moment I saw it. Reminds me of the classic Vertu. Now the certain aspects of PCM itself need to be reworked, I think.
malahhaor is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 05:03 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,118

I just can’t believe that such discussion could show up here in a “Porsche Driver Club” !

Modern cars have a lot more dash board controls than old cars had.
I.e.: changing the suspension setting, a kind of “normal” desire from a “driver”, required in the past a serious visit with a high end technician in order to get a firmer or softer car.
Today, a click on a switch of the dash board can do the trick.
And, for sure same comment do apply for “thousand” of other important functions. (I.e.: thinking also about other functions like heating your butt (or the one of your passenger) at different possible level, that for sure was not existing in the cars of the previous generations.)

I hope up to here, we do ALL agree.

Now, with the need for many entries to let the driver control such functions, what to do ?

One solution commonly brought up by BMW, that I call “washing machine” type button, or: turn a button, read a display, “select” (push a button) read again and etc.. for me a total stupidity, even if this enable to have a “cleaner” dashboard. (I had many BMW in my life, since, that, : Not anymore.)

For me, this is even more dangerous than texting and driving. I feel that car manufacturers that offers such solution should be much more punished, ..than the ones that have real engine operations that do generate a little bit more pollution ..than what was originally specified.
(Anyway, as soon as you would use the accelerator in a more sportive mode, I‘m talking about driving a car in "Porsche" mode, instead of grandfa mode, then, the CO2, or the NOX would anyway be VERY GREATLY ***different*** ..than the “specified” ones.)

The other solution is to have buttons very well organized on a dash board, i.e.: the solution selected by the designer of the Panamera.
For a driver that enter in a Panamera, for the first hours, he may feel lost, ..i.e.. the title of this topic, but for the owner of a Panamera, that is using it since some time, this comment has imo simply no sense. Does that some person, when he comes back at home in his kitchen to complain that he has too many drawer and is not able to remember ..where he stored his corkscrew ?

Imo, the BIG problem are the journalists, or, let’s be more accurate, I’m talking about 80% of the car journalists, i.e.. the ones that does such job just to be able to drive all the cars they want, without having to buy them, and generally report stupid things like “too many buttons” in a Panamera, as for sure, in a 2 hours “test drive”, I seriously doubt that you will memorize the position of the buttons, that you want to use without thinking about.

In my case (i.e.: 4 years of Panamera ownership), I can “click” on “Sport plus”, without looking at the dashboard, and still have my eyes on the road, i.e.: to prep for a pass, while executing such command.
Imo, there are simply no other simpler way to do such function. Sure the goal is to put the command that you can need the most often near the standing position of your hands (i.e.: in the steering wheel), ..or the current trend to have modern steering wheel with many commands, in order to control more commands, with the shorter hand travel, (out and back in) from the place they should be on (the steering wheel).

I’m pretty sure that one of these days, BMW (and the others cars manufacturers) that opted for the “washing machine button” will be sued, as I have simply no doubt that using such type of command for a car, as dangerous, or even more, ..than texting and driving.

I may add that changing the Panamera Gen 1 solution, with solid buttons, against glass panel buttons is imo a SUPER GREAT MISTAKE.
It may create a more modern look, but it kills all the tactile feed back that have enabled to access these buttons without moving your eyes out of the road.
(Or, yet another case where "progress become CONgress".)

Who the hell are the stupid engineers that came to such solutions ?
Are these “design” decision guys are the ones that have the but of their pants positioned just above the knees ?
..or the ones that feels that having (brand new) pants with many holes in many spots is so “elegant” ?
I do not know, but, imo, the results in dashboard usability is just no good.

Last edited by GVA-SFO; 03-17-2017 at 06:14 PM.
GVA-SFO is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2017, 01:02 PM
Rennlist Member
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 176

GVA-SVO I agree with most of your discussion especially the comment about the BMW solution. Porsche just missed an opportunity to provide a heads up display that shows what your finger is selecting on the panel so your eyes are still watching the road. Without that, the new system is step backwards in my opinion.
justabout is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2017, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 29

To each his/her own. Some people like i-drive or Audi MMI, so they have a choice to purchase vehicles with those. Others (like myself) think the spine/button layout is a thing of beauty, and the 2nd gen Panamera's deviation to capacitive touch buttons is a disappointment.
Skidmarkz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2017, 11:01 AM
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 24

I, for one, prefer functions that are invoked semi regularly be assigned to physical buttons. I like having the ability to rely on muscle memory to push a button, with little to no disturbance of my focus on the road. I like the last gen Panamera button layout as the functions that I'll use most often are easy to find and I can index on the little ridges that separate the buttons. I immediately felt comfortable with them. I had the opportunity to sit in new Panamera and for me I think the new layout will not be as immediately intuitive.

I also like my e70 BMW X5's layout in that most functions have both a button and menu method.

I hate my wife's Infiniti. Although a nice interior, it is very frustrating to use and navigate menus. Etc. I really despise it from that perspective. Mercedes and and Audi have hot very deep from a GUI perspective and it now takes for clicks and time and is a bit more distracting.

I don't think things will get more simple as the years go by.
shattuck is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2017, 01:00 PM
AndrewP's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston
Posts: 586

Buttons work well for me on road or track. No doubt the new configuration with touch screen will be even better once one is up the learning curve. While the screen may not have the tactile response we may like, I gather that it has a clearly audible sound upon "button" activation.The auto journalists usually have all kinds of problems and criticisms of any system. Probably because they do not spend enough time with them. FWIW, no need to mess with buttons on my 991 TTS on track and the PDK was much faster than I could manage with paddles. Finally, Porsche engineers are an amazing group and do not make changes unless they improve functionality, IMO.
AndrewP is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2017, 02:19 PM
Rennlist Member
wogamax's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Boston
Posts: 699

Originally Posted by GVA-SFO View Post
I just can’t believe that such discussion could show up here in a “Porsche Driver Club” !
Imo, the BIG problem are the journalists, or, let’s be more accurate, I’m talking about 80% of the car journalists, i.e.. the ones that does such job just to be able to drive all the cars they want, without having to buy them, and generally report stupid things like “too many buttons” in a Panamera, as for sure, in a 2 hours “test drive”, I seriously doubt that you will memorize the position of the buttons, that you want to use without thinking about.
I haven't noticed journalists punishing button layouts more than what I think is an evolving competition for eyeballs. No way am I looking at the road, in <10mph stop and go traffic. I glance at the clean 100+ yards ahead of me, and go into autopilot to read the journal or surf. I can see how this turns into a quest for future revenue from the cabin of a car. But then it gets crazy, when "minimalist" becomes fashionable, over function.

It doesn't matter how much it's "the drive" that has become so lame, or the driver who'd rather be a passenger. People who put a premium on their own and others keeping their eyes on the road, need to be louder.
wogamax is offline  
Reply With Quote

Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
05-18-2017 03:40 PM
Rennlist Canada
04-05-2017 09:58 PM
997 Forum
04-02-2017 04:08 PM

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -3. The time now is 06:50 AM.

Copyright ę 1998 - 2017 We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: