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  • The interfaces aren't quite there yet

    An article over at DailyTech talks about Consumer Reports and their displeasure at the way Ford is implementing their MyFord Touch system.

    Valid complaint, or an indication of the gulf between people who want to tinker and people who want to drive?

    Dailytech: Consumer Reports Hates on Ford MyTouch Due to Distractions, Complexity

  • #2
    I'll agree, nothing beats a dedicated control knob or switch. But on the other end of the spectrum, I've seen automotive reviews that hammered the ergonomics because there are too many of those as well. I saw a review that said the Honda Pilot had dozens of switches, knobs, or adjustments in the center console and that this was an example of extremely poor design.

    We happen to own that model of Pilot and I'd never noticed either myself or my wife complain about the complexity, so I went out and looked at it carefully. There are a lot of controls, but they're grouped logically and it's really not an issue.

    The knock I think Consumer Reports is bringing up is probably typical of early implementations of touch screen/computer technologies in the car. The problem is that the system has to recognize your voice or else you can't control stuff. So, they put a way to control it on the touchscreen, which complicates things a bit because it gives you two ways to do it. I don't think that is a bad thing, except that apparently you have to have a functioning Sync unit or else you can't control the stuff.

    The switchover to glass cockpits in aircraft came with similar warnings and resistance. Granted, you can afford to look down for longer periods in an aircraft, but the tasks are also more complex than driving. I think they'll work this stuff out over the long run with an appropriate combination of tactile feedback, touch screen, voice control, knobs/switches and probably driver safety assist systems like auto-braking. It's just going to take some time.
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    • #3
      i am a little curious on the reviewer(s) age(s), and technical aptitude..

      while i have never tried any of the sync radios, i think the fact that ford offers multiple ways to interface with the radio is great-- learn what works for you and use it that way..(like windows-- there are at least 2-3 ways to do most tasks..)


      after looking at the pic's on consumer reports site, link i can understand the claim that the buttons on screen are too small-- there is a lot if info on that screen, and ford in a effort to make it look cleaner, appears to have spaced everything out, but made some of the buttons look barely large enough to press standing still..

      granted there could be a larger active area of the button, but the fact that the end-user sees a tiny icon for the button can make it very tough to use..

      all this talk is still kind of funny though.. didn't all FE's here go through the same teething process? i seem to remember coming across threads related to that..

      perhaps someone should invite the sync designers to look around the skin/FE areas here?
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      • #4
        More information on the criticism of the interface is described in an article here:

        Gearlog: Is MyFord Touch a Safety Hazard (to Already Inattentive Drivers)?

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        • #5
          as a 2011 ford edge owner..

          i do find some aspects of its controls complex

          voice works great, even though i feel certin things i can press the button to do quicker
          hense the nice steering wheel controls...

          yea.. i can say, tune preset 1, or just press a few buttons on steering wheel..

          im a new owner, only 2 weeks, so im still getting used to it

          its media playback is amazing, right out of the box... how it builds a word list from
          id3 tags on a usb thumb drive

          so i can say, play artist RUSH
          or play album 2112

          i do think its not a perfect system, but for us tech guys, its fun, for my mom and dad, no...
          -Thanks
          Mitch
          www.rush2112.net

          "Did you test it in carwings??"

          Sun, Come shine my way
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          Wind, Carry me home
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          The piece of me that died
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          • #6
            oh, one thing to know my opinion of a touch screen, they all suck! when driving
            ALL of them!!!

            you do need to look to where to touch before touching...
            so ford's idea with the small lcds in the dash, and the controls on steering wheel is good
            but u still have to look at the cluster, vs looking at the road...

            no pefect solutions out there... they dont exist, except to not have any enertainment system or such in the car, and leave you cell phone at home... then u wont have them as distractions...

            and driving becomes borning, and we fall asleeep at wheel, and crash anyway
            -Thanks
            Mitch
            www.rush2112.net

            "Did you test it in carwings??"

            Sun, Come shine my way
            May healing waters bury all my pain
            Wind, Carry me home
            The fabric of reality is tearing apart
            The piece of me that died
            Will return To live again

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mitchjs View Post
              as a 2011 ford edge owner..

              i do find some aspects of its controls complex

              voice works great, even though i feel certin things i can press the button to do quicker
              hense the nice steering wheel controls...

              yea.. i can say, tune preset 1, or just press a few buttons on steering wheel..

              im a new owner, only 2 weeks, so im still getting used to it

              its media playback is amazing, right out of the box... how it builds a word list from
              id3 tags on a usb thumb drive

              so i can say, play artist RUSH
              or play album 2112

              i do think its not a perfect system, but for us tech guys, its fun, for my mom and dad, no...
              of course you use Rush examples lol. I have used both the touchscreen sync and the basic sync systems and 90% of the things you would need to do while driving could be done easily via voice. I dont really understand what consumer reports is barking about really. The system limits what you can do while the vehicle is in motion so there's no distraction to be had.
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