Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Google Street View Interface Sucks

Yet again, Google have to ruin a completely good idea with a revamp which introduces usability headaches.

Google Street View used to be a really useful way of finding locations. It had the little option in the More Tab and you could click anywhere on the map - simple. Then you could use the arrows on street view to navigate the street scenes. Perfect.

But about a month ago, obsessed with going virtually full screen, Google went and made this handy app almost impossible to use. In the guise of "interface improvement" they've hidden it deep within the Google Maps navigation so that you have to search for an address first then find the link and click on it.
Then the street view appears in a little screen in the bottom corner while the map is still there.

But that's not the really tricky part. The interface for moving around the streets is now extremely awkward. There is an icon that you have to drag and you can no longer simply click on any point of the map. If you happen to miss your target, you almost have to simulate walking there by dragging the person icon over the map which is both tedious and annoying.

They've also introduced a split screen concept which reminds me of Nintendo 64 and makes me want to throw up. Bot the map and the street view become very clumsy to use in this mode.

All I have to say is why Google ... why ruin a perfectly good app with poorly executed ideas. I can only hope they learn from this and either return it to normal or try a different interface.

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