User Experience Benchmark: Ford SYNC3

Modifications Make for a System that is Easier & More Enjoyable to Use for Basic Radio, Phone & Navigation Tasks

Boston, MA – December 02, 2015 – A recent user evaluation from the In-Vehicle UX (IVX) group at Strategy Analytics ( assessing the Ford SYNC3 in-vehicle infotainment system has found that this system presents a marked improvement over MyFord Touch. Providing a responsive touchscreen which allows for quick interactions, the SYNC3 presents a row of icons along the bottom of the touchscreen which provided easy access to features. Navigation search using the touchscreen was a significant improvement, while speech recognition for address entry was impressive but fragile for other key tasks. However, SYNC3 still possessed issues in recognizing the availability of smartphone apps.

Surveying consumers in the US using SYNC3 in a 2016 Ford Escape, the responsive touchscreen made it easy for consumers to switch between the features they wanted; duplicating streaming media apps within the audio menu aligned with user expectations; and navigation was much improved with the addition of one line entry for both addresses and POIs. However, while apps within SYNC3 are much improved over AppLink in terms of ease of access to available apps and using features within each app, the system still suffered from issues around identifying available apps and this will confuse and frustrate the end user.

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Chris Schreiner , Director, IVX and report author commented,

"Performance of the speech recognition system in SYNC3 is a mixed bag. Navigation destination entry and calling a contact are simple. Address entry in particular is very impressive. However POI search, tuning the radio, and dialing a number could be improved with more flexible grammar or in the case of POI, a more smartphone like database and experience that reduces the number of steps.”

Continued Schreiner , “Furthermore, while the touchscreen responsiveness was much improved over previous models, this experience would benefit from the addition of tuning controls on the touchscreen or a dedicated tuning knob.”

Kevin Nolan , VP, UXIP added,

“SYNC3 is a major step forward for Ford and its responsiveness and ease of access to features are positive. The improved touchscreen experience will allow users to rely less on the speech system which is impressive when it works – but unfortunately it does not work often enough to be a primary interface.”

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