Google Maps launched in 2005 and it was a revolution: you could go to your desktop browser, click and drag a map with a mouse and watch it render smoothly and quickly. Before then, you usually had to click arrows at the edge of a map in order to pan it, and wait for it to load.
Google Maps’ ‘fishbone’ zoom controls predominated the map; after all, screen resolutions were small, and double-clicking the map would re-centre it rather than zoom into it. Beside the map, a column of suggested searches and instructions took over one third of the screen’s width. Oh, and it only worked in Firefox and Explorer browsers.
Only eight years later, Google Maps spans multiple browsers and operating systems on desktop, mobile, tablet, and wearable devices. But how did its latest reincarnation come into play?
Learn some of the design foundations that fuelled Maps’ latest evolution.