Google Maps

With the Google Maps app, I am able to go just about anywhere with the app telling me a variety of things on the way. Google Maps asks you for the option of tracking your location in order to help out in this instance. The home page is a map of where you currently are. The bottom section features an “Explore ___” option. In my app, it displays “Explore Raleigh” with different restaurants. Once you scroll that tab up, it shows more options such as Pullen Park, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, etc.

A common route I take: Target

Explore Raleigh Layout

At times, I do get lost even with the help of the app. However it can redirect you into the right direction as it has the tracking feature. This mostly consists of U-turns or going into different roads that takes you around. This app can also be notorious for providing its users with false direction. For example, if you are on Pullen Road going away from NC State, you can merge onto Western Boulevard. However, from the other direction you can not even though this app tries to tell you to take it. This happened to me on my way to The Ritz. The Google Maps app eventually navigated correctly and I got to my concert on time. Overall, it has the ability to mess up at times and even get you lost, but it can redirect itself. During these times, I do question myself about the direction that I am going in and get frustrated if it keeps happening. This is a rare occurrence but the designers’ choice in adding in the tracking feature allows the app to get the right directions for the user.

On the contrary, the designers’ of the app have different features such as “Commute,” “Saved”, “Contribute,” and “Updates.” These other features become more interactive with the community so that the app is not solely just about directions but rather what a user can do in the space that they are in. To prevent the app from misdirecting you or to just set up a routine, the “Commute” tab lets you add in your home, your work, what days you work with the time, and shows you the fastest routes to get to where you need to be on time. The “Saved” tab allows easy access to any place or location you want to save to take away any hassle of typing it in each time. “Contribute” is more community based where users can input any information they want to help the community. Some of these may be traffic related, adding in a place that is yet to be on the map, reviewing different locations so you where the best places are, or to add photos to get a better look about a place. The “Updates” tab is tailored to the user and has a space where someone can message a business. Personally, as a user, these added in design aspects create an all-in-one app for me to get around a space easier.

“Contribute” tab