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Stupid Usability #31

Remote Car Starter that works in Minnesota

Written By: High Monkey
Posted: 3/3/2014

From the mind of Erik Bredesen, Sales Advisor at High Monkey:

As Minnesota residents know all to well, our winters always end up being ridiculously frigid for periods of time that seem to never end! It is never pleasant leaving the 70 degree warmth of your home, office, or school and stepping out into a (-5) degree day, and having that 30 mph wind hit you in the face immediately. So to combat at least SOME of this unpleasantness, I made sure that when I purchased my vehicle it was equipped with a remote starter. That way I could take my medicine for the 10 seconds it takes me to sprint to my car, but I will be damned if that car wouldn’t be 80 degrees once I got in.



This is where the stupid usability comes in…No one told me that when you start your car with the factory Pontiac remote starter, it automatically turns off after 8 minutes! Do you know how much the interior temperature increases inside a car after it’s been running for 8 minutes? I don’t either, but it feels just as frigid as it does outside the car. I guess they do this so if you forget you started your car, it won’t run until it is out of gas, which makes sense. What doesn’t make sense, is me running to my window 4 different times at 8 minute intervals to hit the starter again to make sure the car is finally warm after this 30 minute charade. And what happens if I remember to “restart” it 15 minutes after the initial engine start-up, I have to start the warm up process all over again, because the car went back to freezing in the 7 minutes it wasn’t running.

Here is a very simple fix…Change the automatic shut off time from 8 minutes to 30 minutes. Problem solved. Are you really concerned about the gas you might waste in 30 minutes of the car running on idle?!? If you are, here is another simple fix, don’t buy a remote starter.
 

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More About Virgil

Virgil Carroll is the owner and president of High Monkey – based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Virgil also wears the multiple ‘hats’ of Principle Human Solutions Architect and SharePoint Architect.

Virgil is one of those rare individuals who can dive deep into technical topics while speaking clearly to the business owners of a project and never forgetting that the end user experience has the highest priority. He calls it using both sides of his brain. Virgil is passionate about leveraging technologies ‘out of the box’ as much as possible with a focus on the strategic use of content to create websites that deliver the right content to the right audience on the right device at the right time. Virgil brings high energy, an ironic wit, and a sense of grounded perspective whenever he speaks to an audience. Virgil regularly speaks at conferences and user groups throughout the United States and occasionally in Europe.

Posted: 3/3/2014 12:00:00 AM by Brian Haukos | with 0 comments