Originally Posted by iBandwagon
dfiler... would you elaborate, please? I'm interested in your feedback re: screen real estate efficiency.
Looking forward to your reply.
With a more in depth look, it seems that squandering screen real estate isn't the biggest problem. But it is the most immediate indicator that usability problems abound.
Most notable are the double toolbars at the bottom of the screen. Granted, the 2nd one is collapsable. But even then, it consumes about 40% more space than what is truly necessary. It could be made smaller by eliminating a bit of the excessive white space around the four toolbar buttons. They are already distinct and large enough that all that white space isn't needed. Also, are the icons really needed in the toolbar? They're all labeled with text anyway. First rule of thumb when designing interfaces for tiny screens, screen space is valuable, even those 10 extra rows of pixels consumed by a pointlessly large and graphical toolbar.
A "MapQuest" logo on the screen all the time. It's somewhat insulting and hampers viewing of maps. It is the largest text on the map. Yes, it is larger than every single label on the map. 24/7, the mapquest logo is fighting for our attention.There are a number of other interface annoyances too, besides wasting screen real estate. Upon further inspection, they make my screen space complaints seem trivial.
Searching isn't terribly intuitive. I clicked on the search field with the magnifying glass "search for business or address", typed my address, and touched the search button. But no results came up. Why? because that was just a decoy search field, you actually have to use the secondary data entry field if you want to search for an address. Fine. So I click on that second search field, retype the address, and press the search button. Still no results. Why? because it ignored the data entry focus and continued to search using the first search field. So I deleted the text from the first field and pressed search. Still no results. Why? I misspelled my street name. So I click on the search field and where does it put data entry focus? On the search field that I wasn't using, the first search field.
Zooming in or out is also problematic. Rather than showing a scaled copy of the current zoom level until the new zoom level loads, a completely blank screen is shown... even if you switch back to the previous, already loaded zoom level. This is incredibly frustrating in areas with poor cell coverage. Accidentally zoom and you lose the map entirely. That's another show stopper for me at least. (This is a HUUUGE issue)
Ok, so let's say you've typed in an address and want to find directions to it. Better be prepared to retype that address. It doesn't automatically transfer from the search view to the directions view. But once you do start loading route info, the app locks up completely until the route is computed. Once again, problematic in areas with bad reception.
I'd continue this critique but the app refuses to load data despite having 5 bars of reception. "Can't load route due to a connectivity problem. Please check your internet connection." All other apps work fine.
Don't get me wrong, it's great to see MapQuest enter the fray and provide well funded competition. But they've got quite a way to go before MapQuest compares to the alternative.
I'll try to use it some more tonight and finish the critique. There are certainly more usability issues worth commenting on.