Insight into Google Maps Interface

Perhaps it is just me but it seems that Google Maps is easy to use and has every basic thing any other interactive map has in an apparent layout.  However, it still seems many people cling to MapQuest.  Why is that, they say because the interface is harder to use at times or that they cannot find the option they like and then they will go back and make a comment of MapQuest being easier to use.  However, to me it seems like the responses are more about familiarity to MapQuest and the general stubborness we all get as we get older. 

That stubborness is the biggest problem really, why learn something new when the old thing works juuust fine.  Perhaps it does but Google Maps also seems to be a powerful tool in most of our interviewees eyes.  They like the street view and they like rerouting paths.  However, almost half choose to cling to MapQuest even after mentioning or at least indicating that they are aware of the usefulness of Google Maps.  So that leads me to believe one of the best things that can change is simply the interface to work on useability.

That is a large area and would be worth exploring many options but one such option could be something as simple as an option for a “Basic” and “Advanced” mode that is very obvious on the starting page.  The advanced could be the interface that we currently use for Google Maps, which of course would change over time anyway but for our purposes it would be the same.  While the basic could be something that is extremely similar to the layout that MapQuest gives.  That may be a legal issue but it isn’t like they would be stealing their technology just skinning it to look like them so that those users that love MapQuest so would be more likely to take to Google Maps and eventually find the extra utility it contains.


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