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Guys, I have to tell you right away, your devices are fantastic. No seriously, they are.
However, just like all the devices that are designed and built by humans, they still have some little "issues". In the rest, I'll expose my ideas and what I think can be improved. Don't know, maybe you can think about putting a patch on it in the next firmware update eh?
I will refer to the motorcycle version of your devices, I suppose the version for cars is the same.
The GPS' display is quite limited and usually the attention of the driver has to switch between looking at the road and try to figure out the gps' instructions and how do they apply to the real world. Doesn't matter how accurate are the maps, sometimes roads changes size, shape and other carachteristics (like being closed or not) on a day-by-day basis. So, it's extremely important (IMHO) to give priority to the directional indications and put all the other informations in the background or not at all.
For example, the information that the external power to the device has been lost and it is now being powered by his internal battery is given with a huge dialog box that asks what to do, and the default is to switch off after a few seconds.
There can be a dozen reasons why the power has gone to the batteries. Maybe a fuse has popped, or maybe the driver, in a futile attempt to clean the visor of his helmet from the shit that is thrown around by the usual mercedes-driving assholes that zip around at 296 Km/h in the labyrinth of crossings that we are trying to navigate, has ripped the power cable out. In any event, the 'switch off by default' is not a good choice.
What you could do is to provide such information by using an icon in the corner of the screen and keep going on battery, and make the icon more visible when the battery is down to 50%.
This could be ignored or overlooked by a distracted driver, but a stressed-out (by the aforementioned assholes, the trafic in general and the condition of the roads) rider won't have to punch the screen.
Another not-so-primary function is to keep track of how many kilometers have ben gone from the last refueling and then signal a "low fuel" situation. The idea is to provide an alert to distracted drivers. And that's a good thing. However, once again the message is provided with a huge dialog box that cover the whole screen and has to be acknowledged by the rider to continue. That could be a problem if, for example, the rider is actually trying to figure out the exit from a particularly complicated set of motorway ramps, under the rain and with a 17-wheels pushing from behind.
I'll let you know a little secret of ours (ours=us motorcyclist): modern motorbikes have fuel gauges. Not perfect, but good enough to signal when push-time is coming up. And the owners of motorbikes without the gauge quickly learn how to use the odometer to keep track of how much fuel has been used. Usually the need to push the bloody bike for a few kilometers up a slope, at night, in winter to the nearest gas station for a couple of times is enough to teach the skill and perfect it to an art.
So the extra indication is a nice but totally useless idea.
An alternative could be to let the user decide if to give an alert and what kind of alert. You could add an option in the setup screen like so:
"In the event that the distance with a full tank of gas has been configured and more than 85% of it has been covered from the last reset, what should I do?"
a - inform the user with a huge obnoxious dialog box that has to be acknowledged by the driver, distracting him from the road and depriving him of potentially useful information on a crucial time.
b - display a small icon on a corner of the screen to signal that is time to refuel.
c - fucking nothing. you're not his fucking mum. if the fucking meat bag runs out of gas because he can't be arsed to check his fucking gauge it's his fucking fault. if he asks, be sure to select only gas station that are on the top of a very long, very steep incline.
Signed: an almost-satisfied Garmin user
Comments are added when and more important if I have the time to review them and after removing Spam, Crap, Phishing and the like. So don't hold your breath. And if your comment doesn't appear, is probably becuase it wasn't worth it.
rotfl By SicilianoEdivad posted 16/06/2010 23:02
LOL By Flaz posted 17/06/2010 09:07
Verissimo By Kurgan posted 17/06/2010 10:31
@ Kurgan By Anonymous coward posted 17/06/2010 19:55
Immagino... By Massimiliano posted 17/06/2010 11:06
@ Massimiliano By Davide Bianchi posted 17/06/2010 16:42
Deformazione professionale .... By Luigi posted 17/06/2010 12:08
"parla come mangi" ... By WM posted 17/06/2010 12:28
POI... Nel senso di dopo!!! By Co.Bra. posted 17/06/2010 14:43
@Davide By Emilio Desalvo posted 17/06/2010 19:50
@Co.Bra. By Emilio Desalvo posted 17/06/2010 19:53
meno male che non sono l'unico... By Anonymous coward posted 18/06/2010 09:56
altra aggiunta By Anonymous coward posted 21/06/2010 12:54
dopo il secondo navigatore... By EnricoC posted 22/06/2010 02:08
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