Delays during "trampoline" phase of transit navigation give bad UX

Number:rdar://12388300 Date Originated:09/27/2012
Status:Open Resolved:
Product:iPhone/iPod Touch Product Version:6.0
Classification:UI/Usability Reproducible:Always
27-Sep-2012 03:37 PM Daniel Jalkut:
I've come to loathe the "slowdown" that occurs after choosing a destination in Maps, requesting directions, tapping the public transit icon, then waiting for the installed apps to load before finally tapping one and waiting for it to launch.

If delegating transit directions to apps is a long-term strategy for Apple, the UX should be improved in this area. The "Loading..." phase is especially irritating because it is out of my control and the wasted time encourages me to find another, more immersive app for handling my transit-based navigation.

Here are some ideas that are probably not new to anybody on the Maps team, but what can I do but write a Radar report? :)

1. Pre-load and cache transit-map options before the user requests a transit route. Especially do this if the user has EVER requested transit directions before, and extra super-especially do this if the user has requested transit directions recently. If I have just transit-navigated from home to the library and want to navigate home, it shouldn't involve a user-visible "Loading…" phase.

2. Support some kind of memory for the routing app that I always use when navigating in a certain area. Default heavily to using that transit app, even allowing some means of short-circuiting right to that app when I press the "Route" button. Obviously this would require some elegant means of overriding the default routing app for when I want to do it another way, but I'm sure you can figure something out…

3. Prelaunch one or more of the transit apps so it can begin pulling together the directions, loading its UI, etc. I know you don't want to overdo it in this regard but those precious seconds when I'm staring at the list of transit apps could be spent preparing the final route, especially when you know that I've selected a particular app 99% of the time.

I think you get the idea. The flexible, app-based system for transit directions is really cool in many regards but if the usability is stymied at the highest level by a slow workflow, I think it will not be allowed to properly shine.


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