Now don't get me wrong, I do indeed like my Nuvi. As GPS devices go it is really usable and useful, but there are some simple improvements a good UX designer could have implemented if just a little more effort had been put into the design process.
Without further ado, here is my open letter to Garmin as to how to improve the Nuvi experience:
1) Change the alphabetical ordering of the keypad to QWERTY. This is a no-brainer and needs no explanation.
2) Modify the algorithm and interface for finding fuel, restaurants, etc. to allow the user to filter the results that are on or close to the current route. Picture yourself driving on a road-trip to Albuquerque and wanting to stop for a quick bite to eat or to grab a coffee at Starbucks. Now you passed the last exit 3 miles ago and you're not really into turning around. The current interface always shows the closest first and only allows filtering by restaurant type or name...but not "on the way". C'mon folks, this isn't rocket science UX work here.
That's it. Short and sweet. I do think that they are wasting their time on device unification features like making the Nuvi hold photos and music. This is feature bloat that the device and brand are just not elastic enough to support in my mind.
Anyway, it's rating time:
Nuvi - Like it
Nuvi's design team attention to detail - Garbage
See you dudes on the flip-flop. I'm out.