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Driving interface improvements?

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I've just started using ABRP as an in-car tool rather than just a planning app, and I'm finding it rather difficult to use. I'm wondering if we can have a discussion about improving it.

I expect some of this comes from the difference of using it on a large built-in interface (e.g. Tesla) vs a phone or tablet, so maybe these features want to be optional or selected on the user-agent string?

Generally I'm finding the interface too busy and cluttered, and I need to be too precise to use it in a moving car. It takes too much attention away from the road, so I wanted to feedback what I think could be done to simplify things and make it safer to use. All of the changes I'm talking about are in reference to driving. I'm not seeing a need to change things for planning. A realise that might mean defining a "driving GUI" which doesn't really exist yet, as what we have is a small modification on the planning results page.

I should preface this with saying I'm using Firefox on Android. Maybe some of these are Firefox-isms.

  1. Full screen - Screen real estate is at a premium, yet I've got the address bar locked at the top. It's not going to disappear because that only happens when you scroll down a page which doesn't apply here. I've seen some web-apps go full screen. Could ABRP do this when on the move?
  2. Map scale - The default scale seems to be to show the whole trip. This is useful when planning, but isn't very useful when driving as you can't see detail when approaching a charging stop. Could we auto-scale to show the car and the next charging stop? Then as you approach a stop you're getting more and more detailed information about how to find it.
  3. The Itinerary aka the top drawer - I personally don't think this needs to be available after planning, but certainly should auto-hide once moving.
  4. Buttons - I think it would be good to reassess which buttons are needed and when. I'm finding certain buttons are in the way and some I have to go digging for.
  • The '?'  button - It needs to die, at least whilst we're on the move.  On a smaller screen it just takes over the whole display, and has lots of hot links which will take you off round the web as you're trying to get rid of it.
  • Zoom buttons - I'm finding pinch to zoom is awful on the web app because it doesn't work if you hit a UI element by accident (e.g. the charger information bubbles). Couple this with trying to do it whilst keeping your eyes on the road, generally because you're approaching the area where you need to find a charger and so need to change lanes to come off the motorway or something. Generally auto-zooming would get rid of most of the need, but a quick tap to zoom in/out would generally be easier. So can we move them out of the dock during driving?
  • Back arrow - Returning to the planner is a pretty devastating thing to hit by accident whilst driving. Can we make this less prominent?
  • Battery adjustment - I like the functionality, but invariably when I'm trying to nudge the battery level up or down I end up selecting the value text in-between the two buttons and getting caught up in cut and paste menus. Is there something that can be done to make all text unselect-able? Maybe make the hot spot for each button overlap onto the text?
  • Night mode - Can we automate it based on local time? User preference if you like. Then lose the button.
  • Centre on car - Make it a "return to default view" button which appears only when user isn't on the default view?
  • Slow charger filter - Only useful for planning? Hide whilst driving.

These changes would mean that we're left with only the two zoom buttons most of the time, and a return to default view some of the time. No expandable dock necessary.

All of these are my opinions only, so please understand this is all said in a spirit of making ABRP a better tool. I realise there may be good arguments against any of them (including developer time).

Thoughts? Alternative suggestions? Developer feedback?

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A lot of these are solved by using ABRP in mapless mode.  Once you've got the driving chart up, click the fullscreen button, or click the Map icon on the expandable menu to turn the map off.  You can also "install" ABRP onto your phone by going to the FireFox menu and clicking "Add to Home Screen", this will get rid of the address bar and cause it to behave more like an app.  \

Personally, I always use the mapless mode while driving, using Google Maps or something else to do the actual navigation.  I click "Share > Share Next Step", which sends the next destination (charger, waypoint, etc) to my default navigation app on my phone to use in Android Auto, while my phone serves to monitor my car's performance using Live Data (You can set this up with "More Settings > Live Data > Setup" if your car is supported).

The rest of the items we'll be improving on as we build a proper app for ABRP.

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