Google Maps gets a new UI upgrade

Google Maps

 While Google Maps received a visual refresh with Material You not long ago, a more functional redesign is on the horizon. Previewed in February 2024, these changes aim to streamline the user experience and prioritize the map itself.

Google Maps Prepares for a User-Friendly Makeover

A Streamlined Interface for Enhanced Usability

Despite its dominance in the navigation app market, Google Maps remains susceptible to interface clutter. The current design relies heavily on numerous buttons and panels, which can obstruct the user’s view of the actual map. This upcoming redesign tackles this issue by simplifying the interface and promoting better use of screen real estate.

Panels with Purpose: From Clutter to Clarity

The current iteration of Google Maps heavily utilizes bottom panels for various functionalities. However, their design can be confusing, as it’s not always clear that they can be expanded or minimized. Additionally, these maximized panels often obscure a significant portion of the map.

The new design addresses this by introducing a revamped route selection interface. The header will no longer be fixed, transforming into a concise floating summary of the origin and destination. All additional options like choosing between driving, public transport, walking, cycling, etc., will be housed in a redesigned bottom panel. This approach fosters a logical flow – users select the transport mode and then view the corresponding details directly below. While details might appear slightly condensed, the trade-off is a significantly clearer map view at all times.

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Maximized Panels: Maintaining Context

Another notable change concerns the behavior of maximized panels displaying information about specific locations. Previously, these panels completely masked the underlying map, hindering user orientation. The new design addresses this by maintaining a subtle map background within the panel, along with a clear “X” button for closure.

A Gradual Rollout and Expected Announcement

According to reports from 9to5Google, this new interface has become available to a limited number of users, suggesting a gradual rollout strategy. With Google I/O approaching, it’s highly likely that Google will officially unveil these changes during the event, providing a wider timeframe for the public release.

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In conclusion, Google Maps is promoting a user-centric redesign that prioritizes clarity and ease of use. By streamlining the interface, emphasizing the map view, and improving the functionality of panels, Google aims to deliver a more intuitive and enjoyable navigation experience for its users.

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