3D Product Configurator Design

Exploring the design, value and landscape of 3D Product Configurators.

Porsche 3D Configurator Part 3 – Innovation


To read part 2 of the Porsche 3D Configurator review, click the link below.

Porsche 3D Configurator Part 2 – User Experience


The application itself seems to be a very considered, large scale, solid application that covers all car models, all options, and a very large amount of 3D visualisation, both 2D and 3D.  A tremendous amount of effort has gone in to this, and it feels reasonably robust.  There are small delays while the images update with some of the selections, and this is what we might expect from today’s technology, but in the future we’d like the selections to be updated instantly, especially for comparisons.


As far as I could tell, the configurator hasn’t been designed heavily for different platforms or smaller displays, but it is able to detect what platform you are on, and whether or not the 3D plug-in will be available.

Behind the scenes, I can’t comment on the specific technology used but as I’m more interested in the design from a user’s point of view (and I’ve written more than enough already), this blog isn’t too concerned with the specifics of the back-end.  It’s a bonus if I have that information, but the focus is really looking at configurators from the user’s perspective.


Initially, I didn’t feel there were many parts of the application that felt ground breaking based on what you may expect with the technology of 2014.  When it was built, it may have been extremely cutting edge and innovative, but I can only judge it on today’s standards because innovation is relative to time.

There is another way to look at this however.  The feat of building a full end-to-end online configurator with every possible configuration and access to all the information and visualise everything (in some shape or form) could be considered by many a great achievement of innovation in itself.  I would like to view this configurator in this way, but when you compare it to Audi City, unfortunately there is quite a large innovation gap.  I’m hoping someone will correct me by pointing me to Porsche’s digital showroom!

That said, to be fair, I viewed online configurators from Audi, Mercedes and BMW and I’m pleased to say, compared to their competitors, Porsche actually stack up very well, and were the only configurator in that group that actually have a full 3D interactive view.  So Porsche are actually showing a lot of innovation on the 3D visualastion aspect of their application

There are definitely a few nice touches that need mentioning.  In the 3D view, the option to turn on the headlights is actually really useful.  The stylised Porshe ‘loading’ graphic is a touch of class.  The ‘play’ in the 3D view is a very good concept.  I’d love to see them build on that with more options during playback.



When it comes to product configuration, the luxury car industry is at the top end of the scale for product complexity, quality, customisation, budget and profile.  After taking a closer look at this configurator in more detail, I can now appreciate the challenges involved.

My initial judgement viewed it as a relatively standard offering that didn’t wow the user with innovation.  After spending quite a bit of time getting in to the details and comparing it to some of it’s competitors, the subtle innovation and quality became apparent.

I think we still have some way to go, before we are at home, personalising our next car online in a truly engaging, interactive, photo-real, fluid experience, but this Porsche configurator is a reasonably good step in that direction.

The mechanics of it are very simple, and the visualisation realism just needs some minor tweaks in-line with the technology improvements over time.  Navigating through all the optional extras could use some smoothing out, but all in all, it achieves it’s purpose of allowing the customer to customise and view all the options available to them, and purchase a brand new shiney Porsche.


This configurator isn’t what I would call a full 3D product configurator in terms of what I am hoping to find.  I’m picturing being immersed in a 3D space, with inventive ways to view, study, explore and customise parts in a fluid and non-intrusive way.  This is currently shackled by an immense amount of menu options, which dominate the screen.  Let’s invent new ways to engage the user and only bring up options and menus as needed, to allow total immersion.

It’s difficult to know exactly how many people actually use, or even purchase cars through these configurators, so more investigation is needed.

All in all, a very solid offering from Porshe which ‘does the job’, and who knows what they might having racing towards us on the horizon.


2 thoughts on “Porsche 3D Configurator Part 3 – Innovation

  1. Pingback: Porsche 3D Configurator Part 1 – Visualisation | 3D Product Configurator Design

  2. Pingback: Porsche 3D Configurator Part 2 – User Experience | 3D Product Configurator Design

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