Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sat nav generation, symbols and interface

As satellite navigation systems are becoming cheaper and therefore everyone is buying them up, it's interesting to stop and consider what this is doing to our driving experience along with the whole idea of user interaction whilst driving.

We tend to trust machines to work the way they are intended. Even more so do we trust computers! Ah yes, the summum of intelligent design, conceived to make out lives easier which is exactly what sat nav does, doesn't it? Well mostly yes it can alleviate the stress of navigating alone whilst driving (or even the stress of being navigated by a nitwit with a map sat next to you!) but occasionally sat nav goes wrong. Furthermore it seems to be sucking out all of our sense of direction by relying on these machines too much. Worse than this it can lead to annoying and inappropriate shortcuts like the one which has led to a cottage being driven into 15 times in the last year by lorries who have blindly followed the sat nav instructions.

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