To whom didn’t know I’ living in São Paulo city now. When I was looking to apartment here I was using the Nokia maps at my N900 to guide me trough the streets that I didn’t know.
Well I cannot blame Nokia maps hard because it really helped me to find lots of places in this huge city.
However, last month I bought a simple Garmin Navigator (Nuvi 1053T) and I have to write that developers have a lot to learn with Garmin, regarding to the usability.
The usability was the main reason that I’ve chosen this brand instead of the other one available in the market. At this point you must be willing to ask me:
“if Nokia Maps at your N900 helped you to find all places you wanted when looking for a new apartment, why the hell did you spend money in a navigator?”
Well, for some reasons:
* Due to the Murph law, always during a decision taken the phone rings and I got lost
* After get lost my Nokia Maps didn’t recalculate the route by itself
* When the 3G internet was slow it was a pain to wait to see the maps and the path (Ok I know that there is solution/workaround for this issue)
* It doesn’t warn me when there is speed camera
and the main reason:
* My wife didn’t like the Nokia Maps usability and couldn’t use it very well and since I work at home she will use more the Navigator than me.
Well, due to this reason I’ve started to take a look to different brands and models.
The first one that I’ve played with was a Tom Tom of a friend. I didn’t agree with
the most of path it took and I saw that this friend and I had some difficulties to use it even been computer engineers.
Later, I played with a my cousin’s garmin. Well, he is a smart and intelligent doctor but he admit that he can’t use computer and other electronic devices so well.
Although he got his garmin and use it so easily that I couldn’t believe. I had also agreed with most of the paths and than I was almost decided to buy one of this.
When I was in a store in Finland looking for a Garmin to buy I found a demo device on the shelve but it was in Russian and even in a complete strange language I could with few taps
to change the language to Portuguese and use it very well.
Then, obviously I bought it.
So most of my problems I had with my N900 in São Paulo streets have already been solved. But this is not the main reason that I decided to write about it.
I believe that all developers should learn a little bit about its interface.
= Developers in general
* Leave the interface as clean as possible. On the map screen there is few information; next step with street name, distance and directions and the map itself. It also doesn’t show the small streets when it is not really necessary.
* Use few buttons as possible. On the main screen there is only two buttons: “Where to go” and “Settings”
* is it touch screen? So prepare it for fingers. Really. Use big icons. If you have to get a pen to touch it is simple wrong. As a friend of mine would say: It is so 5 years ago.
* Use meaningful buttons so people can use even in strange languages.
= To the Navigator developers
* Recalculate route is essential
* Talk and speed cameras are not easy but important
* If the device is for multiple usages, add an option that allows it to ignore automatically incomming calls or other service when you really need the navigator.