Controversy Erupts Over Google Maps Redesign As Former Employee Expresses Dissatisfaction
The updated design of Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google Maps has stirred up controversy among users, and now a former employee who helped design the app has also expressed dissatisfaction.
What Happened: Google Maps underwent a revamp last week, introducing new features such as improved public transit directions, locations for electric vehicle charging stations, and more.
However, the app’s updated color scheme has not sat well with users, triggering a wave of criticism on social media, reported Business Insider.
The redesigned app now showcases roads in gray, water in a lighter blue, and public spaces in a lighter shade of green.
Elizabeth Laraki, who introduced herself as one of the original designers of Google Maps, criticized the new color palette on social media, describing it as “colder, less accurate, and less human.”
She also targeted the company, saying, “If the goal was better usability, the team missed a big opportunity.”
15 years ago, I helped design Google Maps.
I still use it everyday.
Last week, the team dramatically changed the map’s visual design.
I don’t love it.
It feels colder, less accurate and less human.
But more importantly, they missed a key opportunity to… pic.twitter.com/HMcpKiOEdr
— Elizabeth Laraki (@elizlaraki) November 22, 2023
While some users have applauded the updates on social media for making major roads, traffic, and trails more prominent, others echoed Laraki’s concerns. Some also started comparing it with Apple Maps, which everyone once disliked.
Why It Matters: The mapping app arena has seen significant competition, with Apple making substantial strides in user experience with its native app, Apple Maps.
In fact, it was earlier reported that Google Maps has seen a significant drop in iPhone usage, recovering just 40% of its former mobile traffic since Apple switched to its mapping service.
Considering this, Google Maps’ design change and the ensuing public response could further affect its standing in the competitive landscape of mapping apps.
Produced in association with Benzinga
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