Comments on: Google Usability http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability Mac & Technology Writings by Daniel Jalkut Fri, 10 Oct 2014 04:19:48 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 By: sloan http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability/comment-page-1#comment-105937 Thu, 31 May 2007 14:31:58 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability#comment-105937 daniel: true, i left off the second part, which would be on roll-over to show the detail of information. i only addressed the information density issue. :-)

this trail finder i worked on years ago has some of those ideas in it though execution is a bit off from what we envisioned (the color and background really limits data density and layering and the circle edge lines disrupt readability):
http://offroad.honda.com/family/the_riding_experience/where_to_ride/trail_finder.aspx?state=CA

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By: Arden http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability/comment-page-1#comment-105764 Thu, 31 May 2007 05:47:10 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability#comment-105764 For showing multiple pins, at least, they could take a cue from Mail et al. and show a numbered badge over the pin(s). I also second Random John’s desire to point and click to find an address, as that would come in immensely useful, especially on Google Maps Mobile.

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By: Elisha http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability/comment-page-1#comment-105735 Thu, 31 May 2007 04:04:53 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability#comment-105735 You mapped my neighborhood!

Agreed about the pedestrian-style directions. I do appreciate the somewhat-recent addition of subway/train stations though.

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By: Daniel Jalkut http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability/comment-page-1#comment-105204 Wed, 30 May 2007 04:12:39 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability#comment-105204 sloan: that would work for showing the mere presence of multiples, but I also want to be able to click them of course :)

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By: sloan http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability/comment-page-1#comment-105200 Wed, 30 May 2007 04:03:21 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability#comment-105200 Transparency works well here too. If they use PNGs you can layer them and show density to a certain extent by having each one with 10% opacity. The “darker” the color, the higher density… 10 levels is decent.

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By: Dai Jones http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability/comment-page-1#comment-105194 Wed, 30 May 2007 03:40:49 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability#comment-105194 Not wishing to be picky or critical, but I’d like to relate an experience in Savannah, Georgia, having gotten off a train and caught a taxi into the city.
Me: “Could you tell me where the town centre is please?”
Savannah resident: “What’s a town centre?”
Out of town shopping malls are killing the very idea and experience of town centres in the US. In several thousands of miles of travel around the US, the only place I alighted in with a genuine “town centre” was Madison, Wisconsin. A beautiful city I found, almost, dare I say it, European.

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By: a random John http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability/comment-page-1#comment-105132 Wed, 30 May 2007 01:06:36 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability#comment-105132 Google Maps has several obvious deficiencies. One is that the user should be able to set a thumb tack by clicking and then have the site tell you what the closest address is. Right now the only way to get a thumb tack into an address is to know the address. I frequently know where something is (say, a ski resort up a canyon) but I’m unable to get Google Maps to find it.

A related problem is that it has very poor placement of addresses in rural areas. I’ve tried submitting feedback but with not luck.

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By: Jonathan http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability/comment-page-1#comment-105062 Tue, 29 May 2007 21:55:16 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability#comment-105062 The biggest usability gain that Google Maps could offer me is to not make the assumption that I drive a car. Unlike automobiles, we pedestrians do not have to follow one way systems when travelling from one location to another, so why not allow us to display To: and From: routes that ignore them? Grrr.

(Thank you for letting me air my Google Maps/Earth pet peeve).

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By: Richard Keen http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability/comment-page-1#comment-105054 Tue, 29 May 2007 21:33:01 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability#comment-105054 The Multimap Open API has built in clustering and aggregation of markers, check out the demo page for this feature here: http://www.multimap.com/openapidocs/1.2/declutteringmarkers.htm. We put this to use throughout our new website.

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By: Mike Jalkut http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability/comment-page-1#comment-105004 Tue, 29 May 2007 20:45:22 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/340/google-usability#comment-105004 I agree with Daniel. I am always wanting to rewrite programs to work the way I use them. Maybe I just use them weird or maybe I represent a bunch of users who have the same problems.

Google is no exception. I praised it at first as having a pretty good handle on usability, and I applauded the built in earth views. But lately, as I put more pressure on it, it begins to show signs of neglect. On handhelds, blackberries and such, I am finding better map solutions to replace mobile google and so may start shopping for a new desktop mapping solution. Daniel used the example of the Boston area, an area which I had to navigate recently. Boston really puts a strain on mapping software since the tunnels render GPS inoperable. I was forced to switch to MapQuest and other mapping programs to find my way around. NOTE: I still got lost.

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