Track usability issue — Discover Places feature of Google Map Android app

I used Google Map a lot for navigation because it provides efficient and clean interface for me to quickly get my job done — find and navigate to the place I want to go.

This morning, I opened up the Google Map and decided to explore on the Discover Places feature which I haven’t take a closer look before.

Below are some of my thoughts on the design.

Discover Places Landing Screen

The landing screen looks a kind of cutoff. I am not quite sure whether it worthwhile to show map as 2/3 of the screen space while it does NOT provides any context/connection with the places shown below in the card UI. I think it’s better to expose users with a variety of categories at first glance where they can further dive into such as restaurants, groceries, department stores, etc. The map provided here may won’t benefit users that much until they’ve narrowed it down to the areas/categories they want to explore.

After I scrolled down the page, it presented me some featured restaurants in a carousel UI followed with a list of categories icons to further discover. I selected the Groceries and then it showed the screen below. Taking a closer look at the screen, you will notice that below the search bar there are two tags attached with the list with more filters option. What’s your expectation? I expect to be able to find more filters by clicking on that link and I thought the Open now, Top rated are two filter options that has already been applied by default. However, it’s not the case. The tag UI is used as the control to apply/clear filters on the surface and the default state is unapplied. Clicking on the More Filters, the screen on the right will display without any other filters. I would consider this a major usability issue because the information displayed on the screen (the two tags and More Filters) doesn’t inform users properly on what’s going on. If system hasn’t applied those tags to the search result why to display the tag next to the More Filters which causes ambiguosity. If there is no more other filters why to show users the More Filters by giving me the hope to see more.

Groceries List and More Filters

Another design issue I found is the inconsistent list layout. In groceries list there is only call option but in gas stations list there are two actions. I can’t think of any reason why to discard the directions action in the list of groceries.

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