Google Maps is great at navigation, but we also wanted to help users discover what’s around them and find interesting places to go and things to do. This project was part of a larger effort to transform Google Maps from a navigation tool to a local discovery guide. We started with an Explore tab as an entry point into discovering places, restaurants, and events near you. We improved the map to better highlight personal landmarks and places you care about. We evolved our personalization features from understanding your food preferences to letting you follow neighborhoods and businesses you like. Finally, we developed our offerings to include recommendations from local guides, user generated content, events, and activities. I led this project from its inception, established a team of designers and researchers across 14 work streams and got the project off the ground in early 2017. While this is a multi-year initiative, the first version of this project launched in July 2018.
Role: Design Lead / Manager