Considering the products we use, two categories can be defined: products we use from their exterior space and products we use from their interior space. The first category includes any small object, larger tools, appliances, anything we control, operate or manipulate by interfacing with their exterior surface or features accessible from this surface; the second category refers to large size structures which need to be used from inside their enclosed spaces.
The automobile is one kind of products that falls under both categories; it has features we can operate from outside (doors, lids, roof racks, etc.), but its main functions are accessible from inside the cabin. To use the latter, we need to access that interior space and this is an aspect most time overlooked by the user.
Many times at auto shows I have seen people impatiently waiting to get inside a car and, once the vehicle was available, they get in the driver’s seat, trying their preferred driving posture. Is this all about using the car? Did they forget that, in their rush to get behind the wheel, they either dropped their coats, bags, and water bottles on the floor, or gave them to someone else, or just threw them on the passenger seat? Did they not notice the areas visible when opening the door (mainly at the hinges) from where one may quickly get an idea about the care and interest in the design of the vehicle? Again, this may not be important for many, but do we not pay for all these as well? Do they not add to the overall design quality of the vehicle?
The articles in this chapter, published in pages under the Access drop-down menu, discuss some examples of how the areas covered by closed doors and trunk lids were solved and finished. If some compromises are expected in affordable cars, there are no excuses for expensive vehicles that display such busy areas which will become greasy, dusty and difficult to clean, giving that “worn out” look of a used car.