Thursday, November 5, 2009

Products in Use - Handheld or What?

It is pretty common to see many Americans driving with GPS in their hands. Obviously, it was never meant to be used that way.

Not that the designers of the product did not think about its mount, of course, they did. But probably, they missed user testing.

It comes with a suction pad that could be attached to the windshield. However, the GPS device is too heavy for the suction pad to keep the GPS stable on windshield. Whenever the suction decreases it falls down, which is annoying to the driver.

The suction decreases for couple of reasons:

* As suction pads go old, its vaccuum generating capacity deteriorates.
* Large potholes shake the GPS so hard that the suction cannot bear it
* Variation in temperature and pressure also affects suction capacity

Therefore, most of the drivers end up using their hands to hold it.

Annoying, but that is the truth.

Lessons for us: Usable Design and Rigorous Testing

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