Google maps is used by people to get from point A to point B. Users include people walking, driving, biking, using public transit, and taking a lyft/uber. these users use google maps to also check hours of operations of a store, check gas prices of nearby gas stations, and to get the best route given driving conditions.
If I wanted to improve usage for users on the go, meaning users who are using google maps on their mobile, then I’d look at improving engagement of mobile users. Let’s say I’m focusing on improving engagement of biking users.
Bikers don’t like biking in areas crowded with people, they don’t like biking up steep hills, narrow roads are a little more dangerous, and they generally prefer biking in a bike lane. Not everyone owns a bike. Not everyone is an expert biker, some people feel more nervous biking than others.
Some suggestions that could alleviate these pain points include:
A) Indicating to customers which routes would be the least to the most amount of effort (based on time and elevation gain/loss variability)
B) Provide the user the option to stay on bike lanes as much as possible, or opt out!
C) provide the users the option to see which roads are the most crowded, and have the option to avoid those.
D) when users start route, allow them to quickly see the nearest bike station if the user needs to rent a bike (little bubble on the top right)
Which solution is most viable? Well option A) would impact user experience, and for users who’s main mean of transportation is biking would most likely use this option more (san francisco hills!), implementation would require some work, but elevation information is something google maps already has and could leverage. B) Should be relatively easy to implement (and may already be), but in teams of value to the customer, may be limited value add. C) would be a little harder to implement, and would require data from people actively using google maps to get around walking/driving in order to populate that data, but would bring a lot of value to the customer. D) This would be easy to implement and would just leverage already existing data. In terms of value, it would just reduce the amount of time the user spends switching from driving/walking mode to search for a bike station to bike mode, to just having it all happen in the same trip.
Based on this general analysis, I’d go with option A first, and to measure engagement, we can look at how often that feature is being used, if they’re used by the same people, and how long users spend looking at the route options before starting route, how many users don’t start a route using the feature and switch to a different mode of transportation, are there any seasonal trends, etc…