Context : I'm working on a telematics app for an insurance company. Drivers have to drive correctly and the AI calculates their global score vs their trip score. The score can vary (increase or decrease). There was a fraud in the past when people could see their trip score and flag that trip as "was not driving", so we decided to get rid of the trip score. Users get a rebate on their insurance if they get a good global score at the end of the snapshot, they also have 3 "trip pardon" they can use.

The problem is that the people cannot evaluate their driving skills effectively because there's nothing to compare or no indication that the trip was a good one except in the details, but the information is too specifics ex: fast acceleration, hard braking, etc.. Which doesn't give a big picture for the user. Why aren't we using score anymore you would ask? The score was varying a lot and people made assumption that a good score, let's say 94%, would make their global a lot better, but one trip doesn't really change much in the end.

Proposition : I tried the traffic light metaphor (red,yellow,green) but it's not accessible for the visually impaired users. I also tried the stars (1,2,3) but it doesn't fit the brand well. Finally I tried the gauge metaphor, but it's too complicated to understand at first sight (low gauge = bad or good?).

enter image description here

I'm out of ideas right now, you guys have any suggestions?

  • 3
    When you say that stars 'don't fit the brand well', can you elaborate?
    – Mike M
    Jan 15, 2019 at 5:50
  • 1
    Could you please detail your problem some more ? I am having a difficulty understanding the problem as you mentioned that "when people could see their trip score" . So now you are trying to add an indicator that would also be a "score" in a sense. So why would the user not report a trip with a low indicator as in the past ? Maybe i`m missing something ...
    – Chris
    Jan 15, 2019 at 6:54
  • 2
    Seconding the reasoning behind that the stars rating system doesn't fit the brand. It's a very style-neutral concept, and can be branded with colour and shape of the star. The main benefit of that system is that it's easily recognized, as opposed to a gauge or traffic light which have interpretation issues. Stars are experience related (good quality = good time) so fit your narrative. Jan 15, 2019 at 9:09
  • Using emoticons might be a possible 4th solution. So :) for great results :| for neutral and :( for bad. There are some problems with using emoticons, as the meaning of each emotion can be different between countries (you need to do user research for this). Also users with Social-emotional agnosia might have problems with the smileys, though I am not sure about that.
    – Kevin M.
    Jan 15, 2019 at 9:57
  • @Zasul Before eliminating the score by trip, people could see a score in % of their trip. Therefore they would flag this trip as "passenger". Something I forgot to mention and I'll add it to the original post thank you ;), is that people get a rebate on their insurance if they get a good global score at the end of the snapshot. People have 3 "trip pardon" they can use. I want "score indicator" is only visible when they confirm that they are the driver and cannot edit this trip.
    – Max Potvin
    Jan 15, 2019 at 14:00

4 Answers 4


If I see a gauge needle at full throttle on a driving app my logical perception would be I was driving too fast. Stars would mean my driving was stellar. A traffic light, besides color considerations could mean to stop, to drive carefully or "hey, go on".

In all cases, they fall into what Saussure called semiotic arbitrariness, so I think you should give proper testing to this.

So, after reading your problem, and how users will get a rebate (or not), and teh known fact that indications will bias results, I think the best path is to avoid any icon. Simply start by letting them know they may get a rebate based on analysis of their driving (PLEASE TEST THIS WORDING!!!!). Once they do all trips, if they qualify, just send them a message letting they know they won. Otherwise, just do nothing.

  • 1
    +1 for explaining the potential confusion of the gauge metaphor, and for citing semiotics...
    – Mike M
    Jan 16, 2019 at 0:21
  • I believe this is the full paper version of the linked website (PDF): scholar.google.nl/… Please note that it does not only cover signs. I find the website harder to read.
    – Kevin M.
    Jan 16, 2019 at 10:41
  • 1
    Unfortunately we can't do nothing. Let me explain, the main goal is not to give them rebate, it's to help them understand that they may have bad driving skills and give them tips on how to get better, resulting in less accidents (less hard braking, no fast acceleration, reduce speed, etc.) which is good for the insurer. So we reward the good drivers with a rebate, starting at 20% and the more your score go down the more your rebate get low.
    – Max Potvin
    Jan 16, 2019 at 15:06

I think you're on the right track with the gauge metaphor. Have you considered incorporating the color from your traffic light metaphor, i.e. having "high" gauges in green, "low" gauges in red? It provides accessible information for the visually impaired but can also provide a subtle indicator, depending on how much color you want to incorporate (i.e. coloring a few ticks or the entire icon).


I like the way that fitbit does this type of UI. enter image description here

this would allow you to get real detailed in the performance. Fit bit color code them too. I think this would fix a few of the problems you've had with the icons you have tried.


Stars are a common use for the rating, but if it is not an option for your project, try progress bar or adapt the traffic light metaphor - use one bullet red, two bullets yellow or three bullets green. In this way would be accessible for the visually impaired users.

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