Interface design – reduction to the essentials

Why are the Bosch C3 and C7 starter battery chargers so special?

Most dri­vers have alre­a­dy had expe­ri­ence with emp­ty star­ter bat­te­ries. This annoy­ing annoyan­ce often occurs after lon­ger peri­ods of inac­ti­vi­ty and can usual­ly be avo­ided with a sui­ta­ble char­ger. But what does an inter­face for a char­ger have to look like so that it can also be ope­ra­ted by the tech­ni­cal lay­per­son? Which func­tions are real­ly rele­vant to offer the ope­ra­tor added value?
Robert Bosch GmbH com­mis­sio­ned Pro­jekter Indus­tri­al Design with the design deve­lo­p­ment for two char­gers in dif­fe­rent per­for­mance clas­ses in the con­su­mer sector.

  • Pro­jekt: Starterbatterie-Ladegeräte
  • Kun­de: Robert Bosch GMBH
  • Leis­tun­gen: Ent­wick­lung eines Benutzer-Interfaces, Ergo­no­mie, CAD-Konstruktion, Visualisierung
  • Award: Red Dot Design Award
  • Jahr: 2011

At the beginning there was a detailed analysis of the properties that are really important for the user.


  • Cur­rent acti­va­ti­on state
  • Sel­ec­ted char­ging mode
  • Bat­tery char­ge level


  • Requi­red loa­ding function
  • medi­um for infor­ma­ti­on output
  • acces­ories


  • Con­trols / Buttons
  • ori­en­ta­ti­on of the device
  • Ori­en­ta­ti­on of the cable outlets
Bosch Batterieladegerät Produktentwicklung Produktdesign CAD Konstriktion Prototyping 3D Visualisierung Projekter Industrial Design Duisburg


In Benut­zer­tests stell­te sich sowohl beim Hal­ten in der Hand, wie auch im sta­tio­nä­ren oder teil­sta­tio­nä­ren Betrieb, eine ver­ti­ka­le Aus­rich­tung des Lade­ge­rä­tes als beson­ders vor­teil­haft her­aus. Die her­kömm­li­che Ver­tei­lung der Kabel­aus­läs­se auf die bei­den kur­zen Gehäu­se­sei­ten ist eher hin­der­lich. Die Kabel sind häu­fig im Weg.
The resul­ting posi­tio­ning of all cables on a com­mon side also resul­ted in a posi­ti­ve con­se­quence for the inter­face design. Both when han­ging up and hol­ding the device in one hand, rea­ding the sta­tus infor­ma­ti­on and one-handed ope­ra­ti­on are very con­ve­ni­ent. The cables always hang down in bund­les and dis­turb as litt­le as possible.

Bosch Batterieladegerät C7 Produktentwicklung Produktdesign CAD Konstriktion Prototyping 3D Visualisierung Projekter Industrial Design Duisburg


Right from the start, the aim was to deve­lop an inter­face that only pro­vi­des the user with the infor­ma­ti­on that he actual­ly needs. For exam­p­le, the exact indi­ca­ti­on of the bat­tery vol­ta­ge on a dis­play is usual­ly not under­stan­da­ble for the avera­ge con­su­mer. Few peo­p­le know that a nor­mal 12V star­ter bat­tery is almost emp­ty at a vol­ta­ge of 12.0V and is only con­side­red ful­ly char­ged from 12.8V. Accor­ding to the mot­to "Design for All" (DfA), it makes much more sen­se to put this infor­ma­ti­on in a form that ever­yo­ne can understand.

Abo­ve all, this included a lar­ge­ly language-neutral design of the user inter­face. We have trans­la­ted all infor­ma­ti­on about the device func­tions and the char­ging sta­tus into gene­ral­ly under­stan­da­ble sym­bols and dif­fe­rent colo­red LEDs. This enables the devices to be sold world­wi­de wit­hout any chan­ges to the interface. 

Both char­gers can be held, ope­ra­ted and read com­for­ta­b­ly in one hand.
Many set­tings, such as the char­ging vol­ta­ge or the con­trol of the char­ging cha­rac­te­ristic, are made auto­ma­ti­cal­ly by the micro­com­pu­ter con­trol depen­ding on the bat­tery con­nec­ted. This allo­wed us to crea­te an inter­face design with just a sin­gle but­ton. The ope­ra­ti­on was thus extre­me­ly under­stan­da­ble and clear.

reddot design award


It's not always just about fas­ter, fur­ther, hig­her, more func­tions and fea­tures, but about which pro­per­ties real­ly offer the user an advan­ta­ge. The inter­face design was cle­ar­ly the focus here. The user inter­faces of the loa­ders deli­bera­te­ly do wit­hout any frills such as digi­tal displays.

Die bei­den Lade­ge­rä­te Bosch C3 und C7 wur­den beim Red Dot Design Award 2011 aus­ge­zeich­net. Möch­ten auch Sie ein Pro­dukt von uns gestal­ten las­sen? Dann kon­tak­tie­ren Sie uns!

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