Spoiled on Integration and Design Thinking

I’ve become spoiled with the smooth polish and tight integration across the iPhone and the Android applications. One can simply select a phone number in an email and the phone recognizes it and dials the number. The phones find new wi-fi networks for connections and can automatically connect if so desired. Pictures can automatically be tagged with location information. Music syncs to/from the cloud with no user intervention. In short everything just works and it works smoothly most of the time.

I recently purchased a new car and it demonstrates the other way of doing things. The car will sync with your phone via bluetooth and it will download your address book to the car for dialing later. However, that address book is not integrated with the navigation address book which is a different list. I can’t use the addresses from my iPhone to load up the destination addresses in my car navigation. However, I can type in addresses to this list one at a time or I can mark a point after I drive there or via a map in the car. Good design thinking would connect these subsystems together in a smooth fashion.

There is a second address book of sites, that can be downloaded via the car’s cellular interface, which are called eDestinations. And, there is third separate list of 5 locations that can be setup for commonly used destinations(like work) which have dedicated buttons on the navigation screen. In fact there is a fourth address book for destinations like McDonalds, Starbucks, and other points of interest.  NONE of these address books are connected together. I can’t select an address from the first book and it make it one of the top 5 destinations for the quick access buttons on the screen. Now, since there are so many places to look, I have to pause and remember where to even look on the car to set a destination. A person could literally appear in this address book mess and phone number mess in 5 different places.

Furthermore, none of the menus work in an objected oriented fashion where you can select the data (an address or phone number) and then select what to do with it. Instead, you have to decide you are going to delete entries first and then select the entry to delete from the list. Very old school, very non-intuitive, very disappointing. Throughout the car electronics, the menus are ancient thinking, poorly designed, not integrated and very frustrating to use.

Like I said, I’m spoiled.

The bar is now very high on user interfaces and their simplicity. Our employees, customers, and suppliers don’t want to find these antiquated ways of getting things done at work(or in their car, DVR, tv, etc.) because they are used to better on their iPhones.

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