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Everyday UX observations 01 _ Google Maps

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

Picture this: you've set your destination, hit the "Start" button on Google Maps, and you're on your way. As you focus on the road and the turn-by-turn instructions provided by the app, there's one thing that's strangely absent—the visible presence of your chosen destination. Yes, it's surprising, isn't it? Google Maps doesn't offer a simple way to see the destination name once you've begun your journey, unless you backtrack by navigating to the previous screen.

In the grand scheme of things, it might appear to be a trivial concern. After all, you're en route to your destination; what more do you need? But think again. How many times have you found yourself wanting to reconfirm the destination name, perhaps just to reassure yourself that you're on the right track? Or, even more pertinently, how often has your finger accidentally brushed against the screen, altering your destination without you even realizing it?

These everyday scenarios underscore the importance of a feature that we might not have realized we needed until now—a simple and accessible way to view our chosen destination while actively navigating. It's a small yet impactful detail that can enhance the user experience significantly.

Imagine this: a subtle but ever-present display of the destination's name, unobtrusively positioned on the navigation screen. This unassuming addition would allow you to glance at your destination whenever you feel the need, without having to jump through hoops to retrieve the information. It's not about changing the core functionality of the app, but about enhancing it to align better with the genuine needs of its users.

This observation isn't a critique of Google Maps' capabilities. Instead, it's a call for a user experience that's refined and intuitive down to the last detail. It's a reminder that even well-established and widely-used apps can benefit from periodic reflection and iteration, as these seemingly minor adjustments can lead to an overall enhanced experience for millions of users.

In a world where technology is seamlessly integrated into our daily lives, the power of UX design to shape our interactions is undeniable. Google Maps, as a pioneering navigation tool, has the potential to lead the way in demonstrating how small, thoughtful touches can make a substantial impact on user satisfaction.

So, the next time you're navigating with Google Maps, take a moment to ponder this unnoticed aspect. The journey towards exceptional user experiences is, after all, a sum of these very observations—small but mighty in their influence.

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