maps: the next generation.

  • images
  • May 23, 2013

googlemapsnewLast night I got my invite to play with the new Google Maps (desk­top edi­tion).

Initial Reactions:

  • It’s kinda slow.
    (For the record: I’m using Safari on a dual-core i7 MacMini with dual SATAIII SSDs in a striped array and 16GB of mem­ory, and my inter­net band­width is above-average.)
  • The inter­face has a clean/simple yet beau­ti­ful design. The map itself dom­i­nates the entire screen, which I sup­pose is how it should be.
  • By min­i­miz­ing the pres­ence of the user inter­face, there are less but­tons and entry fields, which means it’s harder to use if you’re unfa­mil­iar. It makes me won­der if the Maps team hasn’t over-minimalized to the point where it isn’t obvi­ous to users how they should inter­act with the service.
  • Thankfully, the “tour” that intro­duces you to the new prod­uct does a decent job of induct­ing users into the new inter­face par­a­digm. (I’m not sure that’s a good thing. To add a twist to a Jobs-ism: If it needs a user inter­face “tour” then it’s not intu­itive enough. Not sure if that’s the case here, but it could be.)

All-in-all, it’s a step in the right direction.