A List of Improvements

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A List of Improvements

Postby ooglek » Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:28 am

Originally posted on Waze's Facebook page, I'm posting it here at their request.

Dear Waze,
I think you are fantastic. Most of the time. I use you daily, and wouldn't go back to any other nav app again. But recently I've had some problems and frustrations with you and I thought I would share.

1. I know I mentioned that getting an alert at 560ft was a little short, but a recent change to Waze makes hazards and Police alerts pop at 2000ft, which is too long. Maybe it is a personal preference, and you could let me set it in the settings. I think I'd come down at around 1000ft, but even that might be too long. Being able to have the user choose and having a good compromise as default is a win.

1.1. 560ft in Waze isn't 560ft in real life. It's like .3 miles. Maybe the math is off? 5,280 feet in a mile, ~3,281 feet in a kilometer. 560 meters might be what it means, but I'm seeing 560 feet.

2. Long distance routing is problematic. When I drove to Rehoboth Beach, DE from Washington DC July 8th and back again July 14th, Waze didn't even give me an option of going over the Bay Bridge. It added about 70 miles to my drive. I have no idea if traffic was bad on the Bay Bridge, because Routes never showed me an alternative, kept getting a Server Internal Error when trying to determine alternate routes. We took the Bay Bridge back, ignoring Waze, and it was fine, with a bit of a slowdown over the bridge due to construction. When my wife was driving from DC to Boston, Waze took her all sorts of weird ways, like getting off at an exit and getting right back on again. Efficient for the 1000 feet? Maybe. Douchey? Definitely. You are fantastic for my commute and drives under 100 miles, but beyond that your intelligence wanes in my recent experience.

3. Hazards. Your choices are fairly limited. I'm thrilled you added back the spoken specific hazard "Car stopped on shoulder ahead" rather than "Hazard ahead." But being in DC, there are cars and trucks stopped on the road -- not an accident, just their car/truck died. Lane closures aren't really handled well, and there seems to be no way for me to report an exit as closed. There is also the challenge of describing where the hazard is -- left, right, center? Knowing that lanes are closed on the left ahead moves me right. Knowing there is a car stopped in the center of the roadway ahead allows me to move to either side. With 4-6 lanes of travel in many places, this is really important detail that gets lost.

4. Limits on reports. On my daily 30 minute, 20 mile commute, I usually pass 2-3 police cars, 2-3 cars on the shoulder, 2 lane closures (HOV and Metro extension construction), and even some deer on the shoulder occasionally. And I keep hitting my limits in the number of reports I can make. Finding a way to increase the limits on users who get thumbs up on their reports regularly means trustworthy users can report more frequently and provide more value to other Wazers.

5. Trip Summaries. I would love to see a Trip Summary at the end of my trip. It would be great to see your estimate at the beginning, then the reality at the end. Miles traveled, average & peak speeds, departure, arrival and elapsed time, etc. Plus it allows me to get a sense on how accurate your estimates are. Then give me the opportunity to provide immediate feedback on how waze helped or hindered my trip. Let me rate it, have a 2-3 question survey, and a text box where I can share my pain or pleasure so you can get immediate feedback that is quantifiable and timely.

6. Map overview of Current Route. It drives me nuts that I cannot see a Map overview of my Current Route. This would be really useful for longer trips, to see at the beginning where I might be going, and be able to zoom in and out. Another issue is when I hit Routes I don't see my Current Route as one of the options. Usually my current route is one of the listed ones, but that isn't clear. Sure, I can view my Navigation List, which is sometimes useful, but we humans are visual people!

7. A Compass!!! Maybe make it an optional thing, but decidedly helpful. You could even use the Speedometer display circle in the lower right corner become a Compass display when tapped -- NNW where the speed is, 338° under where 'mph' is.

8. No Network Summary Screen. It's informational, but the whole 'N/A' is pretty useless, and the primary information is in really tiny red text. If you replaced that with "You have no network connection." in large text, then the smaller "Just keep driving! When we detect a network connection, we will give you an updated time and distance estimate." Either way, I think that summary screen needs some reworking when there isn't any detected network connectivity.

9. Buffering reports when network is not available. Sometimes I'm on the phone when I'm driving, but I still have Waze up for those cached hazards and police reports. But because I have a stupid network that doesn't have simultaneous call and data, I can't report stuff. My phone has a GPS signal so you know where I am, and a clock so you know when I reported it. Instead of "I can't report right now" store it and send it when you can report it. Let your server decide if the report is too far out of date to accept when I do finally reconnect. Extremely frustrating that I can't report when there is no network. Same goes for clearing (Not There) events and giving Thumbs Up. It should work even if the network isn't there.

10. Find the people at Princeton and MIT who worked on SignalGuru, which can estimate the time in seconds when the light will turn green. That is epic! http://www.fastcoexist.com/1678462/a-si ... -emissions

11. Make us all traffic engineers. With all that data, and throw in some real traffic engineers, maybe you could advise Wazers on how to drive to help to reduce congestion. Teach us what compression waves are and how we can drive to reduce their impact on traffic, as well as WHY what you are suggesting will help! http://www.smartmotorist.com/traffic-an ... -jams.html

I don't want this critical review to in any way dissuade you from the awesomeness you continue to deliver!!! Your app is awesome, your service really is top notch, you do a great job of communicating to your customer base, and I really hope you've got a fantastic revenue model that is working for you! You have a treasure trove of data from all of us Wazers, something a bunch of PhDs would have a fantastic time boiling down into something of value to DOTs and traffic engineers.

Thanks Waze!
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A List of Improvements

Postby jasonh300 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:52 pm

The only thing I have to add is that the Bay bridge you referred to has has a continuity problem IIRC. It's probably been fixed and just waiting for map updates. If not, a local will see this thread and troubleshoot it.
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Re: A List of Improvements

Postby Gamersea » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:50 pm

I've got something to add, longer distance should be possible. Right now it's not possibble to go from Holland to the middle of France and that just sucks: http://waze.uservoice.com/forums/59223- ... ger-routes
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Re: A List of Improvements

Postby DarrylGittins » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:00 pm

Love love love this app!

I concur that this would be an awesome addition, in particular, elapsed time:

5. Trip Summaries. I would love to see a Trip Summary at the end of my trip. It would be great to see your estimate at the beginning, then the reality at the end. Miles traveled, average & peak speeds, departure, arrival and elapsed time, etc.
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Re: A List of Improvements

Postby CBenson » Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:14 pm

I know of no continuity problems on the Bay Bridge for quite some time. Waze will route me from DC to Rehoboth. If I remember correctly, July 8th was around the height of the routing server connection problems and the problem was a routing server error. The Maryland Eastern Shore and southern Delaware map has been greatly improved. Although the map can always be improved, I'm guessing this wasn't primarily a map problem.
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