Some simple changes to make life much easier

Request and discussion on new / to change features
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pghendry
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Some simple changes to make life much easier

Post by pghendry » Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:08 am

These are things I think every time I use Harry's (and perhaps I'm doing it wrong and some of them are already available)

1. don't require internet to switch to a track I have previously downloaded. I don't always have internet at the track and if I forget to switch track before going I am screwed. Why can't Harry's just keep all the tracks I have downloaded locally? I have been caught out by this several times and had to switch to Track Addict on those days as it keep previously used tracks around.

2. easier to get the sessions for the day and the last session in Lap List. I would like a mode that only shows today's sessions, nothing else. And it puts the last session at the top (then next oldest, ...). I am not interested in sessions from other tracks or for other days when I am at the track. I know I can select different views for track and sessions, but I want to strictly filter to sessions for today (and not have to fiddle around to do it). This is what 99% of people will want to look at when they are at the track after all.

3. remember the camera setting. I want to permanently set to use my iphone camera. Sometimes it seems to remember that between sessions and other times it goes back to None. I have been caught out too many times forgetting to set the camera again even though i set it for the previous session.

4. configure what is on the Timing display. I can't read anything but the timer and the bar on the right. These rest is too small to be useful on track. I would like Oil Temp in big writing. Time in very big writing (as it is now), and perhaps a couple of other things. I don't want any of the rest. Would be great if this was configurable. As it stands it is just a stopwatch when on track.

5. ok, so not a usability one, but configuration of what appears on the overlay with OBD. Currently it shows fuel (what? how is this of interest?), oil temp in an unreadable little dial, RPM (twice? WT?), NO brake pressure (strange to have accelerator and no brake when it is available as a reading?), steering angle if available would be via a steering wheel image, use of gear reading when available instead of calculating the value (I assume this is available on some cars - calculation seems delayed).

6. rework the defining your own track. I have never got this to work. I ended up defining 12 tracks, none of which worked when I crossed the start/finish, then when I went back to the same track I couldn't find any of them listed anywhere. This is all too difficult. I switched to Track Addict and had a working track defined in about 10 seconds and used that instead. It was also easy to find the track again when I went back another day (I find so many things simple to do in Track Addict that I just can't figure out in Harry's, but I really want Harry's to work out).

7. the charts are not very useful without being able to overlay them on different laps. Look at some of the track data analysis software to see how to do this well. I have been unable to make use of any of them.

Hope these suggestions are useful. The biggest pitfall I find with Harry's is usability. This falls into

1. getting to the information you want (especially the laps for the day or the last session) easily
2. configuration of overlay - useless information on the default overlay and other useful information is missing
3. readability - Timer display, OBD overlay, etc. have a lot of unreadable stuff on them for how they are used
4. complexity - setting up a start/finish for a new track. I just could not get this to work. When it says "point phone..." then what does that mean when in landscape? What does it mean with regard to the orientation of the phone in the horizontal vs. vertical plane, etc. This should be easy (see Track Addict for how simple it can be).

I'll stop there. Harry's is good but it could be great if usability were addressed.
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Harry
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Re: Some simple changes to make life much easier

Post by Harry » Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:07 am

What feels like a "simple change" is often several month of work! ;-) I always need to emphasize this - things are often more complicated than they appear...

Thanks for the feedback, some comments on your items:

1. Internet is not required. A track loaded today, will be available for operation tomorrow. LapTimer does not require you to load a track every time you drive it. Instead, it switches to tracks loaded automatically when a trigger is hit. Check Lap List ‣ Certified Track Set rows to see which track sets are loaded already and will be used. Only exception is when you have a track with several configurations. Conflicting definitions need to be purged to allow LapTimer reliable operation. Changing from config 1 to config 2 requires loading config 2 using the net.

2. You have that by selecting Trackday as grouping and select the current day. But true, you need to do this 2 taps and scrolling every time you enter Lap List. On the feature request list.

3. The problem is many users will run into out of memory conditions when Video Operations mode is stored permanently. Not everybody has a lot of memory and I at least want to slow down the addition of extra selections and options (complexity). From support requests I see very well where the issues are and this would add a lot.

4. The Timer and Speedo View is the main view for driving. All others are for very special situations only. In case they are too small, you may consider a larger screen. Timer View by the way is customizable - try tapping the large digits and you will get an additional zoom option. A Dashboard View is planned for the future - showing a small set of data like a car's dashboard and following the same design principles like Timer View.

5. Fuel is of interest because is influences the weight of a car significantly. So when doing a lap analysis it valuable to understand whether you were heavy or light. Oil is there to show recurring critical situations, not a precise value. Use Data Recordings in case you want to monitor this. Brake is no available reading for the OBD standard but will probably be added for pro sensors in the future. Till then, use negative longitudinal acceleration.

6. I case you feel you want to understand track definitions, please read the Trigger Logic and Tracks documents available on http://www.gps-laptimer.de/documentation. In case this is too complicated, please use the New Track and Autocross assistants in LapTimer ‣ Prepare Race.

7. You can overlay lap data to reference laps for comparison. This feature requires Petrolhead, more options are available in GrandPrix. Have a look into the Train the Trainer document on the above link in case you are interested in data analysis. The chapter is named something like "Help users understand their data".

- Harry
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