The goal with Places was to create a space that allowed users to save their favourite locations in a consolidated application.
Most location platforms are cluttered with excess features, which leaves users confused. For example, it takes 5 to 10 clicks for a user to find a new location in Google Maps, and sort it in a list. This got me wondering: can I streamline the search, saving, and sharing of locations? Is there a better way to organise your lists of places?
First, I wanted to understand how people currently use location platforms—such as Google Maps—as well as their underlying goals. I interviewed people and conducted surveys to answer key questions such as: Who is our core user, and what do our users want?
1. An easy to understand list of all saved locations
2. A simple overview of specific locations
3. And the ability to share places with friends
Just like any other design project, I first took to pen and paper to ideate, experiment, and really just get everything that’s in my head out in the real world. I thought about the needed core functionalities and focused on removing the excess.
The goal of saved locations was pretty self-explanatory, however, we found that most platforms miss this core functionality and alienate their users by overwhelming them with excess functionality. Taking inspiration from Apple Wallet, I grouped locations into cards that gave users a clear overview of all their favourite destinations.
With the overview, I gave users the ability to access more information—only per request. Instead of showing all tags associated with a single destination all at once, users were able to click through and dive deeper into their saved destinations. During my research, I found that users search for different saved places at different times. For example, sometimes people searched for a saved restaurant, and other times they looked for a saved park. Instead of showing both options at once, I let the user decide.
Users requested the ability to easily share their saved places with friends because half the fun associated with organising lists of favourite places is sharing it with the people you care about. Unlike with previous problems, sharing with friends was associated with a lack of simple user experiences in existing solutions. This implies not a fault in functionality but a fault in user experience. I therefore informed users by highlighting an easy to understand swiping gesture at the top of all places and lists.