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Matthew Merrill

Frustrating UX - why I'll stop using FSC

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Greetings folks,

 

I purchased FSC 9.3 a while back so I could have a decent flight planner. I don't use FSC for anything else. It appeared to be able to get all the necessary information I needed with the ability to plan.

 

However, after using FSC for awhile I've found that the User Experience (UX) is too frustrating for me. I don't want anyone to think that I'm bashing or flaming this product. I'm not. I just want to express my frustrations and hopefully they may be addressed in the future.

 

One of the issues that I would like to bring up is documentation. Even though everything we need is in the help file, the simple truth about end users is; they don't read documentation. They install, fire up the program and click click click away. This mean the developers have the burden of intuitiveness. For the application to be successful there must be some intuitive programming involved.

 

Here are some of the frustrating issues that I've come across:

 

MAP MANAGEMENT

 

1. The single left click-move-to-clicked-spot is a very difficult way for me to move around. I find that left-click-hold-and-drag is much more intuitive. There have been many times where I've tried to move like this and all I've done is zoom in on a map area.

2. There is no zoom attached to the mouse wheel. This is also an intuitive response from end users.

 

FLIGHT PLAN MANAGEMENT

 

1. After reading the manual I found how to use Navaid and Low Alt together for a flight plan. However, the method is very difficult to find. A user has to read the manual. By default when users add Navaids and intersections they should be addressed as such. So the mixed plan should be a default mode.

 

2. When adding intersections and navaids by typing in the string value the plan defaults back to Low Alt. All Navaid types are converted.

 

3. After typing in a long string of waypoints, if the destination airport is a typo (such as KDRR instead of KRDD) a message pops up stating the destination does not exist then the plan gets wiped out. Very frustrating.

 

4. After making a mixed flight plan I manually add a new waypoint, after which the entire plan is converted to Low Alt.

 

5. Once I felt I was done with the flight plan I clicked the "OK" button assuming that meant "OK we're finished with the plan". Instead the flight plan is converted to a Low Alt plan. Once again frustrating.

 

6. When editing the flight plan if I click a waypoint the maps gets zoomed to that area. This can be a problem since the area I want to work in is not at that waypoint.

 

Again, this is not bashing and saying this is a bad application. It is a good application, just too frustrating for me to use.

 

I hope that the developers will consider some of this feedback as positive.

 

Thanks,

 

-Matt

Edited by Matthew Merrill
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Well, glad to see that you did end up reading the manual, but perhaps not as closely as you may think.    Seriously, for FSC, if you can't spend the time to read about the product, you're better off using something simpler.   Most of the items you have listed are personal adjustments.  The frustration you experience, is coming from a lack of using the program, IMO.  

 

It's a super program but it does take some time to master its finer points.  

 

BTW, there IS zoom a attached to the mousewheel.     Under Window, Options, Flight - check the box that says "Zoom with Mouse Wheel".   Easy to find and easy to adjust.    

 

The "simple truth" of this program is that you need to spend more time using and reading about it.   You may be able to click, click, click with some programs, FSC is not one of them.  

 

I admit it took time to adjust some settings, but after a regular bit of use, FSC is a breeze to program and manipulate.  

 

JH 

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Matt, If you think a product must work without reading the manual, then I guess you better stay away from complex addons. Stick to what FSX gives to you: default aircraft and default flightplaner.

Or do you want to tell us that you are able to handle complex addons like the NGX or the Airbus, or even GA aircraft from A2A without reading the manual?

 

People like you are the reason why more and more developers withdraw from developing products for our community, because people want things to work without the need to read and understand.

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There's no need to defend this application. It's a good application. I've already stated that. There's no need for "...and since you're a low-tech type of guy maybe you should stick to Xbox shooters..." insults. (Paraphrasing of course) I've been in IT long enough to know how end users react to applications. I've had to deal with that myself. I was just trying to pass on some experience that I've had with developing applications and the usage scenarios from end users.

 

So from the initial post replace all the perceived negative incantations and replace with "Constructive criticisms".

 

It's a great application, no doubt about it. But there could be some improvements that would make it easier for end users to jump on and get-a-click-click-click-going!

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Hey Matt.  I understand your frustrations about some of the program's quirks.  But I don't know of a more flexible and powerful flight planner out there.  My suggestion is give it a month.  Copy and paste RW flight plans from FlightAware into FSC, then add SIDs and STARs manually. Create some simple flight plans in the various formats to see how they differ. Keep preacticng, as you have inserting waypoints - one at a time.  Don't give up after a week. I've created and used well over a thousand flight plans with this program,; it's without a doubt one of my top three FS utility programs.  She's not pretty, but she is powerful.

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