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  • Writer's pictureclara fairbanks

Elevating User Journeys: Senior UX Designer on Interactive Map Feature

My Role: UX Research, UX Design

Tools: Figma, pen and paper

Date: March 2022 - July 2022


Project Overview MyPlace, a home sharing app, is committed to delivering a seamless and enjoyable experience for both hosts and guests. In our continuous effort to enhance the user experience, we initiated a project to introduce an interactive map feature. This feature will empower users to effortlessly discover, select, and explore available homestays. This case study details the research, design, and testing phases of this innovative feature.


Problem Statement Users of MyPlace often face difficulties in finding homestays that align with their preferences and requirements. The limitations of the current search functionality, primarily text-based, can be overwhelming, especially for users in unfamiliar locations. Our goal is to tackle this issue by integrating an interactive map feature that enables users to browse and select homestays based on location and other preferences.


Research

User Interviews We conducted user interviews to gain insights into the pain points and needs of our current users. The following consistent findings emerged:

  1. Users have a preference for visual aids when searching for homestays, such as a map view.

  2. Users often find it challenging to determine a homestay's proximity to key landmarks and amenities.

  3. Users desire a method to filter homestays based on location, price, and other relevant attributes.

Competitive Analysis We examined other home sharing apps, as well as travel and accommodation apps, to understand how they incorporate maps into their user interfaces. This analysis provided valuable insights into best practices and features that we can incorporate into our map feature.


Design


Information Architecture We restructured the app's information architecture to seamlessly incorporate the interactive map feature. This involved introducing a new navigation menu item, "Map View," to enable users to access the map swiftly.




Map Feature Functionality

  • Users can access the map view from the navigation menu.

  • The map displays homestay markers with relevant information.

  • Users can filter results by location, price, amenities, and more.

  • Clicking on a marker presents a brief overview, with the option for users to access more details.


Integrating the map with the products' user flow

  • Users can use the map to view people searching or offering homes

  • Users can start conversations from the map view with their contacts

  • Users can create location based posts from the map view



User Testing

We conducted usability testing with a diverse group of users to validate the map feature's design and functionality. The key findings were as follows:

  1. Users found the map feature more intuitive and engaging when compared to the traditional text-based search.

  2. Filtering options assisted users in rapidly narrowing down their search results.

  3. Users appreciated the visual representation of homestays on the map.


Implementation

The map feature was developed with a focus on performance and responsiveness. We leveraged the Google Maps API to ensure real-time location data and a seamless user interaction. The feature was seamlessly integrated into the existing app and underwent rigorous testing to ensure compatibility with various devices and platforms.


Conclusion

The introduction of the interactive map feature for MyPlace has significantly enhanced the user experience and key performance metrics. Users can now effortlessly discover and book homestays through a visually engaging and efficient process. This project serves as a testament to the positive impact of user-centered design and iterative development processes.


Future Enhancements

In the future, we plan to further refine the map feature by incorporating user-generated reviews and ratings. We will also focus on optimizing the app for users with accessibility needs, ensuring that everyone can benefit from this feature.

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