With Google Maps for iOS now in the hands of millions of users, it wasn’t surprising that someone took a look at the app from the viewpoint of a designer. Sacha Greif, a designer and developer living in Kyoto, Japan, did that just. Greif was impressed with the attention to detail in Google’s work, noting, “After Apple’s heavy-handed realism and Microsoft’s harsh minimalism, it’s nice to see that Google is also beginning to find its voice.”
Greif points out that Google uses a flat design style “where everything is white or very light grey, icons don’t have text labels, and typography looks like it’s been through Weight Watchers.” That white design, seen at right, puts the focus onto the content and not the controls.
In the content are such details as map labels that remain horizontal even while the map is being rotated, a side (or basement) menu that zooms subtly so that it appears to be getting closer to the user when invoked, and additional information that appears from the bottom of the screen — not the side as with most iOS apps.
Greif seemed delighted with one fascinating UI element — when a user becomes frustrated enough to shake his or her iPhone, a dialog asking for feedback on the app magically appears (below).
Have any TUAW readers found something that they love or hate about the Google Maps UI? Let us know in the comments.
[via The Loop]