• To improve user experience in resolving ambiguity when mapping a business location or creating a route that involves a business search.
  • To create opportunity to increase revenue by exposing search results within getting a map or directions process


Integrating the search feature in the map and directions form in a way so that the user can accomplish the task of mapping a location or creating a route with ease while maintaining revenue stream.


Analyzing the Old Application Flows

After analyzing the flow of getting a map and directions on, it was clear that the flow needed to be optimized. The way MapQuest resolved ambiguity for a business location was taking users to the search result form. This flow caused confusion and led to frustration for many users because they did not understand why they ended up on the search results and not the map or route itinerary page. Thus the perception of accuracy and usability dropped throughout the years.

However, removing this flow will jeopardized the steady revenue stream that was generated by the search result page. Therefore it is crucial to integrate the search feature during the process of mapping a location and getting directions.

The Proposed Solution

The proposed solution was to take the essential elements of search result page as part of form error handling instead of redirecting the user to the search result page.

With this approach, not only MapQuest will have a uniform way in form error handling, whether it’s an empty form validation, a typo and location ambiguity. Users will also see the immediate connection of what they need to resolve and why they need to select a location before they can proceed to accomplish the task.

The Result

This solution was proposed as part of MapQuest Search Redesign project and it was not executed until after I left MapQuest in April 2010. However, I am very happy when I saw that they have implemented something similar with this proposed solution in the new Beta site that was launch in Summer 2010. While the design style is different from the original, the same concept applies.