6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Worst human interface ever,
This review is from: Garmin GPSMAP 196 Aviation GPS Receiver (Electronics)Strictly speaking this review is based on another similar Garmin product, the GPSmap 296, but because much of it regards Garmin as a company and so is relevant.
It is difficult to know where to start in criticizing Garmin.
First, the human interface is totally unfathomable. I am a computer expert with experience in interface design. In this case, it is almost impossible to follow the logic of the menus and functions. There is no consistency or pattern. Finding how to change the degree of screen intensity, for example requires a manual and holding one of the buttons for several seconds, but there is no indication of this in any of the menus.
Second, despite spending several hours with the "manual" which is almost as obscure as the menu system, I am only able to use small percentage of the functionality.
Finally, I spent several hours trying to download an update to the database without success while still being charged $50. Garmin's probably automated response was that they are "Sorry for the inconvenience" which to me is wholly lame for having wasted several hours of my time. No help with getting the problem fixed was offered.
In all, I doubt that Garmin would be in business if they did not have a near monopoly, which fortunately may soon be coming to an end since I have heard that the FAA is in the process of approving an app for the iPhone. As soon as they do I will dump this un-updatable, over priced piece of junk.
Tracked by 2 customers
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 2, 2012 8:23:08 PM PST
M. Hons says:
My experience is the exact opposite of yours. To me the Garmin 296 is very intuitive and simple enough to where you can use it without having to think too much, which is a good thing when flying in IFR conditions and your attention is split three different ways. All it took was a couple of hours with the manual to figue out how to work all the options and it quickly became second nature. I have worked with other portable nav devices that can do more than the 296, but they were overly complicated and flat out annoying to use in the air. To me the magic of the 296 lies in its simplicity and responsivness.
Posted on Feb 12, 2013 6:41:44 PM PST
I hope you don't fly! If what you say in your review is the truth, you are the problem and not Garmin.
The whole world is out of step except you?
Garmin is the BEST hands down. I have owned three other brands and now only use Garmin.
Please stay on the ground..
Posted on Aug 3, 2013 9:24:24 PM PDT
Vell Bruixot says:
Curious. My Garmin GPS uses the same interface and I have used it efficiently all over the western hemisphere. I did DoD HMI/user-interface design for more than 20 years (including ICBM launch control) and I find no serious shortcomings with this USI. It may not be the latest trendy approach preferred by 12 year-olds, but the various Garmin models that use this interface set an industry standard, and a largely popular one at that. And now I am in the market for a replacement, a GPSMAP 196.
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