My Design Question

So our goal is to make it easier for users to find directions as well as the not as well known features of Google Maps.  Do our changes actually make it easier for the user to find new features and directions?  Are our design choices instead making it more difficult in certain areas and easier in others?

My hopes are that the tabbed interface we’ve designed aids in revealing some of the hidden areas of Google Maps.  It’s simple, yet it makes a greater number of features far more visible than they were previously.  This is only true if the users actually click on the tabs.

It all comes down to efficiency.  During our paper prototype runs, did the user actually use the tabs?  If not, did it take a long time for them to complete the task without using them?  Is it even possible to complete the task without clicking on the tab?  I believe post-test interviews might be a good way to let the user elaborate on this.  If the user is able to complete a given task, designed to be completed using one of our tabs, without ever using the designated tab we may need to change some things around.

Design Question

One question I have about our groups design is will the tab system really help bring peoples attention to the many features offered by google maps? It could be argued that, no it will not because people won’t see them right away because they are hidden behind the tabs, but I feel that the system will work since in order to do anything with the site the user will have to click on a tab, therefore revealing the many features available in that category.

I feel that our paper prototype study will reveal the answer to this question. Simply observing and noting how people navigate the paper prototype will tell us how effective the tab system is at bringing recognition to the features available in google maps. By asking the user to complete several tasks that use these special features we will be able accurately evaluate the tab system we put in place. I feel that the paper prototype will be a huge benefit in our research into altering google maps.

Design Question

Will our changes allow easier access to the features that are more or less “hidden” within Google Maps?  As it stands now Google Maps is something of a blank page starting out and most seem to miss out on its features.  By adding a tabbed structure to the site we hope to introduce them to these features.  To that end we asked them to navigate through tasks that, ideally, would have made them choose to use those tabs instead of the normal structure.  To an extent I would say that it succeeds but we might need to make a few changes as some of the choices we have made seem to be confusing to the user and at times the tasks we set forth were done through methods not involving our addition to the site’s design.  There might even be too much we are trying to add with this tabbed structure at once, that is something to discuss. 

While we did put some features in the light a little more we also cloud the picture up a bit as well.  So yes, our changes to bring out the “hidden” features but it is only the first iteration and it can be done better.

Blog Assignment: One Specific Question

It is hard to identify one specific question that I have about my group’s design because as a group we have decided to incorporate so many new ideas; although the idea our group has decided on that I question most is located on the left side of the screen. We have decided to break up the side bar into four ‘tabs’; directions, maps, hot spots, and extras. In my opinion, the first two ‘tabs’ are very self explanatory however the next two will take a little discovery. I also believe that the average user will not click on those tabs because they would like to use them for their specificly designed purpose but because they were interested in what exists in that tab. I also believe the last two tabs will yeild too much cross-over information. Through paper prototypes, I believe my concerns become addressed by the testees. It will become clear whether the ‘tabs’ will be used with their intended design, or even used at all.

The way I will know if those two tabs are effective can be determined a few ways. The first way would be if when asked to do a specific task, the testee were to click one tab for the others purpose. The second would be if when asked to do a specific task, the user completely ignored the sidebar tabs and went straight for the google search bar or other methods of search.

Only through paper prototypes will my question be answered.

Concept Feedback

Group C’s Feedback:

* Concept generation is not about feasibility / implementation; it’s about coming up with different solutions for the same problem. Feasibility is important, but at a later stage in the design process. So it’s completely ok to toss feasibility out of the window at this stage, since you are primarily focused on brainstorming at this stage.

* Wide variety of concepts (Awesome.)

* I dug the pen and paper sketches. I think pen and paper concepts allow people to be more creative during the brainstorming portion of the design framework.

* Comments: I thought many of the comments were insightful and helpful for the designer. I especially liked the comments that gave very specific suggestions to the designer or the comments that gave additional information about the concept.

Areas of improvement:

* Paper is super cheap. There are some concepts that would have benefited from a second sketch, to help clarify their concept.

* Some of the rationales were on the skimpy side. Design rationales are super important, and those of you that used the template generally had better / more robust arguments. (You know your reasoning very well, and the rationale is your chance to shine and show off that reasoning.)

Overall, nice job, keep up the good work.

This is a brief sketch of what I would like to see as a google interface.

The big differences here are that of the organization of the features on the left hand bar. all the main features are there and easily accessible for exploration and use. At the bottom of the features bar is a new features tab. It will alert the user whenever a new feature is created and accessible. I believe this will be useful because google often creates useful new things but dosn’t always tell us about them.

another new and interesting feature is that of the help pop up. This will be something like a tutorial for using the map features. simply click on some thing and the description of what you can do with it will pop up and inform you of its use.


Pukinsis P, R, I


1 Google maps is a map of the world

2 Google maps can be used to gain directions


1 Interviews were conducted to gain an idea of the user experience of Google maps.

2 searches of scholarly articles were done to gain knowledge of prior research.


1 Many users are unaware of the many features of google maps

2 Many users are interested in the idea of colaberative map making