Map drawing UX is still too hard

At work today, we are exploring the process of drawing routes on a map, thinking ahead to a few upcoming projects involving bike planning.  So Sonali set up a Google MyMap and asked a few of us to mark our routes to work.  In a nutshell, it was basically a flop, with two out of three people giving up before finishing.  Paul Winkler summed up the process beautifully:

My internal dialog went something like:  "okay, now my route is merging with Nick's ... oops, now i'm editing Nick's line by mistake, how do I undo that? (random clicking around) ...  ok now i'm back to editing my line ...  argh, it's going down the wrong street... let's try this way... whoa, why is there a random line floating around in the water? can't seem to get rid of that one... oops, didn't want to put a point there, let's see if i can delete it... click... oops, i apparently deleted all the work i just did on my line, and there doesn't seem to be an undo for that. F**k it."

It's tough UI to get right -- basically you're trying to replicate the vector drawing capabilities of tools like Illustrator, but in a simple way that provides just the right amount of control.  Not easy.  Safe to say that collaborative route drawing has not crossed over into the mainstream yet.

Collect this post to permanently own it.
The Slow Hunch by Nick Grossman logo
Subscribe to The Slow Hunch by Nick Grossman and never miss a post.
  • Loading comments...