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October 6th, 2005

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04:23 pm
I posted this last night on Eschwa:
Oct 5, 2005 11:16 from Spatch
Google Maps has switched around their map UI.  Now the address links and stuff
are on the left-hand side of the page, and the map itself is on the right.

I can't even begin to describe how thrown off my entire sense of well-being is
by this switch, being a constant user of Google Maps and all.
[Pathetique> msg #4042 (2 remaining)]
I posted in the "Pathetique" forum because, yes, I did feel pathetic in my indignation and feelings of unease due to this horrid switch. Thankfully I am not alone; since posting I have received 3 or 4 responses from Google Maps friends voicing their agreement in varying shades of conviction from "Yeah, I don't like it either" to "It's a fucking abomination, is what it is!"

And you know? The more I think about it, the angrier I get. That left-hand scale slider? NEEDS TO BE ON THE LEFT, DAMMIT! ALLLLLLL THE WAY LEFT! Trying to hit those "Hybrid" buttons or grabbing that scale slider is like flailing at a falling umbrella as I plunge down a cliff, Wile E. Coyote style.

So the consensus seems to be that Google Maps now bites it, whatever "it" is.

(9 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:October 6th, 2005 08:31 pm (UTC)
Actually, I don't think that's particularly pathetic. I was thinking of sending in a comment to Google about it.
[User Picture]
Date:October 6th, 2005 09:02 pm (UTC)
On the Internets, where whole sites vanish from one day to the next, we users yearn for a bit of sameness. Changing UI layouts arbitrarily is a big no-no in the usability community, too. So, neener to Google.
[User Picture]
Date:October 6th, 2005 09:04 pm (UTC)
AND Salon! *glares at it* what possesses them?
Date:October 6th, 2005 11:40 pm (UTC)
It's the "New and improved!" marketing trick: nothing changes; the ingredients are simply shuffled. It gives them a reason — an excuse — to draw attention to the Brand. They can always put things back, but as long as people are talking about them, the change was a success.
Date:October 6th, 2005 09:14 pm (UTC)
I noticed that earlier today. It was kind of jarring, and having the zoom slider in the center of the window is uncomfortable, for lack of a better word.

Considering that (at least in EN-us, EN-uk, and EN-ca) we read left-to-right it makes sense to have the most important objects on the page on the left.
[User Picture]
Date:October 6th, 2005 10:30 pm (UTC)
I didn't like it, but I didn't know if it was just a "change is bad" reflex or what.
[User Picture]
Date:October 6th, 2005 11:18 pm (UTC)
For me, I think half is "change is bad" and the other half is "destroying an intuitive UI is bad."
[User Picture]
Date:October 7th, 2005 12:27 pm (UTC)
Admittedly you can use the Google Maps API to make your own copy of maps.google.com with the map wherever the hell you want.
[User Picture]
Date:October 7th, 2005 02:27 pm (UTC)
Note that the header image says gmaps is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Google Local now, too. I'm annoyed by the layout switch, and I'm going to be sending them a note saying so.

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