Saturday, May 10, 2008

New report analyzes usability of personal navigation devices 45 products tested from 23 brands

A usability report of a different type ...

"Jakajima, an independent provider of business intelligence to the Telecom, IT and Consumer Electronics markets, today has announced the availability of a new report, “usability and performance benchmark for navigation devices”.

In this unique report, 45 Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs) from 23 manufacturers have been tested to benchmark their usability. Among others, the test protocol includes the number of button pressed before a route calculation starts, the speed of calculation for a destination and the speed of recalculation if a manoeuvre has been missed among others.

“There was a real lack of this kind of comprehensive benchmark on the market”, said Pieter Hermans, CEO at Jakajima. “Consumer and specialized media are doing testing of PNDs from time to time, but it has never been on such a scale with such precise test protocols. What is the difference between the usability of PND A and PND B; between brand Y and brand Z is really what this report is all about. We believe the whole navigation industry can benefit from it. Buyers in the retail can better understand what they sell and navigation manufacturers can see where they stand against each competitor and the market as a whole”.

All PNDs are not made equal
Along the 75 pages of this report, one true fact emerges, not all PNDs are made equal. There are many disparities. Average calculation times are spreading from 3.8 seconds for the fastest device to over 1 minute for the slowest. It is pretty much the same for the recalculation speed when you miss a turn. If you use a Becker Traffic Assist 7927 you have an average recalculation time of 8 seconds, while it is 20 seconds if you have a Medion GoPal P4425. With a 20 seconds re-calculation time, driving at 90km/h, means you will have covered half a kilometre before getting new instructions.

TomTom and Garmin
This report also highlights significant differences between the two leading PND brands, TomTom and Garmin. TomTom does a good job with its user interface with an average of 4 buttons less – to be pressed to launch a routing - than Garmin. Calculation time is also slightly quicker, around 3 seconds less for TomTom than for Garmin. However, Garmin does a better job for recalculation with 1 second less than TomTom. But many differences are also noticeable one a product basis; for example the Garmin Nuvi 250 and Nuvi 360 are quicker to calculate a route than the TomTom One XL and the TomTom One XL Europe."    (Continued via The Location Based Service)    [Usability Resources]

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