Microsoft Sync / There will be blood. It will run from your eyes.

A few nights ago, I was watch­ing the War­riors on TNT, when out of the blue appeared a com­mer­cial that fea­tured inter­face design (!!!!). As my man Baron Davis would say: Ya dig?! It was a car ad — for the Lin­coln MKZ — and it fea­tured Microsoft Sync, a voice-acti­vat­ed tech­nol­o­gy for use in the var­i­ous limos, grand­pa-mobiles and ghet­to sleds pro­duced by Lin­coln. The voice-over assured us that when Microsoft and Lin­coln "join forces," "all things are pos­si­ble." From what I saw, though, the only thing that was clear­ly pos­si­ble was the GUI being ugly as hell. Maybe the whole point is the voice-acti­va­tion, but I'll say this: It bet­ter damn well be usable by voice, because it does not appear to be usable by brain and finger. 

There will be blood while using Microsoft SyncIt's true: I haven't actu­al­ly used Sync yet. So I real­ly shouldn't talk. I'm just dis­ap­point­ed that this inter­face gets prime time.
Ugly Microsoft Sync radio interfaceIs it safe to assume that the R&D mon­ey was spent on the voice acti­va­tion part rather than the GUI-spe­cif­ic inter­ac­tion design part?

My ques­tion: Why would Lin­coln fea­ture the GUI in the com­mer­cial? Have the peo­ple who made the com­mer­cial seen the iPhone? What about soft­ware inter­faces like, say, Office 2007? Do they not real­ize that there are stan­dards here? Expec­ta­tions? I guess there's a remote pos­si­bil­i­ty that some mar­ket­ing con­sul­tants found that Lin­coln cus­tomers have very lit­tle over­lap with peo­ple who desire ele­gance (relat­ed to tech­nol­o­gy any­way), or that some some stodgy fed­er­al body reg­u­lates con­sole inter­faces (NTSA?), pre­vent­ing the imple­men­ta­tion of ele­gance in the inter­face. My sus­pi­cion: Lin­coln just doesn't know or care about inter­face design, and that Microsoft bick­ered inter­nal­ly and churned out the low­est com­mon denominator.(Lastly, I'm not try­ing to lay on the Win­dows Hatorade. Every com­put­er I own runs Win­dows. My phone runs Win­dows. I'm up to my ears in the stuff.)

2 replies on “Microsoft Sync / There will be blood. It will run from your eyes.”

That's hilarious…and depress­ing. You'd think an intern could've done a bet­ter job. I'm not sur­prised stuff like this still makes it to the mar­ket, but that com­pa­nies would brag about it and put it in their fan­cy vehicles…

Thanks for shar­ing, Doug.

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