Insights from the user inquiry.

To gather data in order to analyze Google Maps’ overall performance and usability, I interviewed three people, one of whom had never had any experience with the application whatsoever. Therefore, I had to wait for this person to look through the application.

I asked the respondents various questions ranging from open-ended to specific. The most relatively unsuccessful question was: “Is there anything else that you like/dislike about the site?” Although the question itself was reasonable, it seemed that the interviewees, even those who had been using Google Maps before, had little ideas on how to answer it, so the answer pretty much was: “I don’t think so.”

The question, that received a unanimous answer, was: “What do you believe is the main purpose for using Google Maps?” The answer was: “getting directions.” The answer seems obvious, since many people use Google Maps for particularly that reason. However, before the interview was conducted, I had thought that answers to this question would differ (after all, Google Maps is a huge application that can be used for numerous other purposes, e.g. the street view feature, places of interest feature, etc.)

After the interview was finished, I thought that one of the possible improvements to the application could be directed into changing users’ perception of the main purpose of Google Maps.

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