A UX designer by trade, Aloka Muddukrishna is tasked with making the user interface of Polestar cars as intuitive and empathetic as possible.
What’s the best part of your job?
Talking to users, understanding their frustration and making it go away.
What’s something you’ve done here at Polestar that you’re immensely proud of?
Polestar 2! The whole journey, from the start of the project a few years ago to seeing it come to life. It also makes me very happy when I can motivate hardware changes intended purely for an enhanced user experience. Removing the Start/Stop button led to adding a driver seat sensor for example, which brought intelligence into understanding driver intention.
What job would you like to have, if you didn’t have this one?
Work as a clay modeler. Something about scraping off layers of clay to achieve the desired form. I would love to do that.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
This will sound a bit ironic and crazy. My job deals with user emotions. I wish I had the power to switch between Vulcan and human whenever I want. I love how Vulcans can make decisions based on logic and leave out emotion. Human emotion can be a burden sometimes. Imagine a year without human emotions, you wouldn’t have to worry about complex questions like the meaning of life or if you were mean in a meeting.
Would you rather be able to control animals with your mind, or electronics with your mind?
Electronics! Imagine if humans and electronics acted as one. The machine would always be one step ahead, eager to help humans. I have read about projects on the internet where an amputee can control their prosthetic limb using neural signals from the brain. Isn’t that cool?
Perspective is everything. Travelling by plane is a blast for those who have only ever travelled by car. It’s mundane for astronauts. Electric driving is clearly the superior experience in our opinion. But we make electric cars. How do former petrol-heads feel about it? Android developers with an interest in driving? People who take road trips from Bavaria to Schleswig-Holstein and back, with a brief detour in Finland? What are their thoughts on Polestar 2?
The Overview Effect: a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from outer space. Those who have experienced it describe a new understanding of the uniqueness, fragility, and relative smallness of our one and only home. And while it’s easy to imagine the impact this must have; it seems that spaceflight is a prerequisite. Which is why we sat down with Karen Nyberg.
Time is running out. To stay within the 1.5-degree target, we need to take immediate action. In the quest for circularity, transitioning to electric transport is one of several imperative steps. This step calls for a change in behaviour, from people, businesses, and governments. Because frankly, we don’t have time not to.