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What Attributes/Features Should the Ideal Navigation System Have?

What attributes/features should the ideal navigation system have? This question was asked of panel members in a survey conducted in May 2007.
Top Attributes for a Successful NAV System – Ease of Use and Easy to Read
Ease of use is the number one attribute that a navigation system should possess. This is followed by easy to read graphics. A three way tie for 3rd-4th-5th spots includes:
Auto recalculate if miss turn
Easy and fast to learn
Trip routing
Clearly, the easier that a NAV system designer can make the system, the better it will be accepted. While not a part of the study, perhaps the interface introduced on the all new Apple iPhone would be a good direction for NAV system suppliers to follow.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Having just spent a week each in a Ford and Land Rover with navigation systems in Britain (yes, they are different even though both belong to the same parent company), it is clear that companies are making great strides with ease of use. Now, I have a bit of experience with various navigation systems, but most still take a time to figure out. Both the Ford and Land Rover systems were relatively intuitive and easy to use. Frankly, I preferred the Ford system for ease of use and graphics. Both were touch screen systems.


Top 10 Navigation System Attributes

Navigation System Attribute Importance… (results shown on a 5-point scale with 5=most important)
Ease of use = 4.6
Easy to read graphics = 4.5
Auto re-calculate if miss turn = 4.4
Easy and fast to learn = 4.4
Trip routing = 4.4
Navigation display screen = 4.3
Respond in timely manner = 4.3
Detailed mapping = 4.2
Speed of system = 4.2
Regular upgrades = 4.2
The following chart lists the attributes that were rated the highest for extremely/very important attributes. Attributes rated 60% or higher are considered to be options that must be included in the navigation system. “Easy” is a term that is important to owners and future owners of navigation systems. Easy to use, easy to read and easy to learn are just a few of the attributes that need to be incorporated into a navigation system.
Top 2 Box (Extremely/Very Important)
Ease of use = 95.9%
Easy to read graphics = 93.4%
Trip routing = 89.8%
Auto re-calculate if miss turn = 88.7%
Navigation display screen = 88.1%
Easy and fast to learn = 87.3%
Respond in timely manner = 85.6%
Detailed mapping = 84.5%
Speed of system = 81.4%
Calculate routes on the way = 80.0%
Regular upgrades = 79.6%
Provide alternate routes = 77.7%
Turn-by-turn voice directions = 75.8%
Touch screen commands = 75.2%
Helpful error message = 72.3%
Continue navigating when GPS lost = 70.6%
Traffic problem warning = 70.5%
Voice directions = 65.7%
Real-time traffic = 65.2%
Ability to undo operations = 63.9%
Travel time estimate = 63.4%
Holy Grail – Portable Navigation System That Syncs with Monitor in Car

Even though it did not make the must include list, half of the respondents are interested in a portable/hand-held navigation system that syncs with the vehicle monitor (similar to cellular phones and Bluetooth capabilities). This is the way of the future.
Most panel members want to be able to manipulate their NAV system while they are driving; both in the destination and in how the NAV system is operating.
Entry Features Allowed While Driving
Enter destination by:
Address = 61%
Previously stored address = 57%
POI = 45%
Cross street = 40%
Zip Code = 40%
NAV Functions Allowed While Driving
Change volume = 79%
Change view = 75%
Manipulate map = 49%
Change preferences = 38%
Browse POI = 32%

1 Comment

  • bob| June 13, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Touch-screens are cheaper for the manufacturer, but for reduced eyes-off=the-road intervals, shaped buttons that are distinguishable by touch make more sense.

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