Backwards Upgrading, a GPS experience.

Interfaces are usually an upgrade when they retire legacy interfaces, however I share one experience where this was so not the case, it isn’t even funny.

At our contractor business we have been very frustrated with the fact that the company we purchase our GPS fleet tracking through has been bought out TWICE in the past 4-6 years, and now are forcing their users to their new “enhanced interface”.

Normally you would think, “Oh, yes… this makes sense.” They would definitely benefit from only having to maintain one interface… but what if that interface is so abhorrently bad, and lacking of features you just want to cancel.

This is exactly what happened to us. We definitely benefited from their older interface. It supported us overlaying additional information on the map, for which I built a feed generator to do that. Their map was easy to read and zoom in on. You could hover on vehicles to see more details. There wasn’t much white space, each area was not wasted… Then as of July 31st the old panel was retired.

The new interface lacked RSS overlay support, lacked additional information being shown on the vehicles, had a gigantic halo around the vehicles without any idea why nor a way to disable it. It had so much wasted white space in what feels like a “I want this to look modern” type of interface.

Fortunately I did still have access to the legacy API which they did not discontinue yet, so in (1) one single day I built a live map interface with support for our overlays. It performs better than their new interface by a mile, and loads very quick (because I don’t use frameworks).

We’re not going to wait and see how much longer the old API is going to stay active, we just ordered new devices with a competing company which has a properly documented API system. We will be able to still utilize my new live map to show vehicle locations and for other functions we can use their interface because it’s designed very intelligently.

The real frustration: Ass-Backwards Design!

I understand sometimes new interfaces have growing pains. Take for example the new reddit… but this design forced on paying customers was so backwards, it makes me wonder who the hell thought this was a good idea.

I have seen this with new websites, and honestly, this site is one of them because I do not want to spend the time to do a custom theme. You can still build a functional design and not waste space.

A older uglier style will win me over any day over a new style that loads slow with pointless overload of scripts and framework files required to use the site. Efficiency MATTERS.

TL;DR

GPS company got bought out, forced us to use their interface. UI is utter garbage, every employee absolutely hated it. We are switching companies. Really frustrated with current “design” standards that waste space, and UI designers who have no idea how to think like a novice. I won’t name the businesses, because this is America and we are voting with our money, they lost a good income annually from us.

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