home | non-tech | cs | ee | about
Abstract New

A rant against the new Google maps UI

Here is my (totally subjective) rant on the new Google maps (which has now officially replaced the old one). This rant might be as a result of user inertia to shift over from an old version - something like the hue and cry raised when the Sears tower was renamed to Willis tower. However, here are a few issues in the new maps that absolutely irked (and still irks) me. Some of the changes could be a result of Google trying to accommodate varying screen sizes. Nevertheless, the above points can be easily fixed with a more responsive layout or maybe even something customizable. Note to Google - Don't penalize me for having the screen space.

  • Driving directions - text summary - This is probably the biggest drawback of all. Now it takes an extra click and a call to a new page to see the text directions. Surprise surprise, once there, you cannot edit the maps and see how that changes the directions. I fail to see why they needed that optimization.
  • Overlaying controls on a distracting background instead of putting them on a nice little sidebar. The background, in this case, is Google maps. The sidebar scores again.
  • Adding multiple destinations seems cluttered and unintuitive. The A,B,C,D labels of the destinations in the old versions provided a nice visual cue. Now, you have to be content with the way-point markers.
  • Navigation issues - Clicking on the map after getting the directions collapses the search boxes. Again, this seems to be an optimization for small screens which ends up frustrating those with screen space to spare.
The old UI was way more usable than the new version. The new version in its current incarnation needs more work to iron out these issues.

No comments:

Post a Comment

© 2014 - 2015 abstract new. All rights reserved.