Usability Analysis — The Google Maps

Ming An
Ming An
Sep 22, 2017 · 4 min read

The Google Maps app is one of my favorite and most frequently-used apps.

It makes my life easier. I like to use it to find restaurants, museums, or bookstores when I’m in a new city. I’m also a member of Google Local Guides which have contributed many reviews, photos and edits.

I wrote this analysis based on the knowledge I learned from UXA and 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design by Jakob Neilson.

LEMErS — Learnability, Efficiency, Memorability, Errors and Satisfaction

Learnability

  • The Google Maps is simple and easy to get started. The home page of the app is mapped to traditional maps which contain streets, roads, buildings, measuring scale, etc. Using the Google Maps through a mobile device makes me feel like I’m viewing an actual map with a magnifier which has a great example of real-world mapping.
  • Main features like the search bar and the microphone icon at the top of the page indicates their functions clearly.
  • Help and instructions can be easily located in the hamburger menu and it’s easy to follow and understand for new users.

Efficiency

  • The search page, as the core feature of the Google Maps, provides the recent places you have been to. The app allows you to go to their frequent places with one click which is an efficient time saver.
  • The location page is well-organized and offers essential information for references such as business hours, contact number, and detailed address.
  • While using the Google Maps to direct to a location, it displays several alternate routes for you to choose in case of heavy traffic or faster.

Memorability

  • The app allows you to decide the visual hierarchy of the map by marking and customizing places to make them stand out against other places.
  • The name of important places and recently visited places are displayed by a larger font than other elements on the map.

Errors

  • The app will ask if you still want to go to the destination that will be closed when they arrive.
  • The app allows users to cancel their wrong actions easily. For example, you can stop the app from navigating by one click and then you can either start another transportation method or choose another destination.
  • The app is very open to allowing users to edit the information of a place or add a missing place to the map.

Satisfaction

I’m very satisfied with what the Google Maps is offering. I treat it not only like my personal map but also as my yellow pages and Yelp. It serves as a perfect guide when I need to go somewhere. It is also my personal assistant to help me find nice restaurants or fun places around me.

Accessibility

  • Offline maps for users who have trouble with their internet service.
    Voice instruction during navigation benefits drivers and people with visual disability.
  • The app turns to Night Mode to make it easier to view at dark.
  • The Google Maps list wheelchair accessibility for people with disabilities and elder people.

Ming An

Written by

Ming An

Interaction Designer Intern at Intuit