Tuesday, July 29, 2008
(12:01 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
Tuesday Hatred: Complaints about Google ServicesI hate that Gmail is not able to take into account the fact that I have received a delivery failure notification for one of the addresses in my contact list. It seems that it should be able to notice the error, then move that address to the bottom of the auto-complete list. I hate that searches for "to:" and "from:" are so unpredictable -- I can type in the name of one of my most frequent correspondents and get zero results.
I hate it when I search for businesses near me on Google Maps and it gives me a zoom out to the entire Midwest with twenty options. We must have very different ideas of what counts as "nearby." Even worse, when I click on a particular option, it does not recenter the map nor does it give me an intuitive way to zoom into that spot (say, at the smallest zoom that still shows both my house and that business).
I also hate that Google Maps apparently does not acknowledge the existence of the Red Line north of Roosevelt, only showing stops that are transfers to other lines. It does give me the Red Line if I ask for public transit directions, but only reluctantly -- it much prefers for me to take the Brown Line to Belmont and then take the Purple Express to Evanston, for instance, even though it's almost always much faster to take a bus across to the Red Line. I hate that it constantly wants me to take the Lincoln bus all the way to Fullerton and then get on the Brown Line, even though the Lincoln bus stops at the much closer Western Brown Line. Even more ridiculous is its desire to put me on a really circuitous bus route when my stated final destination is a rail station.
They should have the ability to reroute and then take people's suggestions into account in constructing future routes (for instance, it could start to realize, "Huh, people really don't want to take the Green Line to Garfield when they're headed to a destination at U of C. Interesting. Maybe I won't send unwitting tourists in that direction"). Computer route planning systems are inherently limited, and allowing user suggestions is the only way to get around that.