New UX: Map, Route, Itinerary
by Roman Bilusiak, Vas Mylko
Curiosio has Mapbox as the map provider. Mapbox stops support for the map version we use from the 1st of June 2020. We were forced to upgrade to the new map, API, SDK. We decided to try sooner rather than later to mitigate the risks and have some extra time for an additional attempt if something goes wrong. Below is Previous vs. New Map with the New Route:
We just took the default map style called Light. Customization is still pending (gradient for water, contrast for urban areas, contrast for regional and national parks, etc.) Stay tuned for a special technical post how to upgrade to the new map.
On 21st of Mar 2020 we released “On the Route” version. It started to propose more interesting points on the route while continuing to offer fat points with See & Do. But you could see all that stuff only in Breakdowns section, deeper in the menu.
This version brings all that information right in front of you by default and by design. We redesigned the route. Starting and Finishing points are marked with a circled white star. Points with See & Do are big circles with heavy borders. All other points on the route are small white circles, embedded into the route “worm”.
The map is zoomable. Each point on the “worm” is clickable. A click on the point brings up the popup balloon with the point’s name. A click on the name navigates to the Wikipedia page for that point. The ordered list of all points remains available in the Breakdowns section of the trip plan. All points are clickable there; a click on the name opens the Wikipedia page for the point.
Big upgrade was applied to the textual content of the trip plan. We call it Itinerary. We introduced new structural markers:
- See & Do in Some Point
- See & Do on the route
- Also on the route
It allows to better reflect the sequence of the events for the journey. Side by side comparison in mobile web layout below. Previous vs. New Itinerary:
We unlocked more points for simultaneous search. It was 20 before, now it is 30. This makes easier to [Supersearch] the trip you like to the trip you want. When you click the [Supersearch] button, all points from that trip are copied into the search box. You can edit them — delete, add new. If you exceed the total number, you will be notified by the small indicator in the right bottom corner (like in Twitter). Having the new cap of 30 unlocks more opportunities for exploring your journeys. It is by 50% more than before.
We put a new button in the mobile web layout. It is [Google Maps]. Previously it was available only on big screens, and was called [Navigate]. Now it is the same on all screens and called [Google Maps]. By clicking it you are sending the route to Google Maps. We use universal cross-platform URL syntax.
If the number of points on the route is 10, then Google Maps preserve the route and allow further interaction. If the number of points is bigger, you may open the route in read-only mode; it could be still possible to: “Send to my phone” or “Send to my email”.
Also, we renamed the button [Pin to Cal] to [Dates]. You need it when you open a Signature Tour, that has no dates, so you have to pin it to the calendar to set the specific dates. Curiosio returns trip plan for real dates.
It was a lot of work. Some new bugs emerged. Nevertheless we decided to ship the new version, and we shipped it on 7th of April 2020. What we know and what will be fixed:
- Calendar popup is misplaced in Chrome and Firefox
- Pending testing in Safari on small and big screens
- Layout needs fine tuning (vertical space, ratios, word wraps, etc.)
As domestic road trips will grow in popularity from May, we are thinking of using geo IP to guess whether the traveler lives where he/she starts and finishes the journey. If so, we will not propose any points and their See & Do in the vicinity.
We could introduce special markers for the points in the search box, so that you can fine-tune your search. E.g. specify where are you driving from and where your journey actually starting/finishing from. Some travelers are looking how to exclude specific points, hence Curiosio must not propose or route via them.
We love motor racing, especially Formula 1. As soon as Netflix released A Life of Speed: The Juan Manuel Fangio Story one of us watched it on the same day. It is a documentary about first five times World Champion, who did it with four different teams. Below is a screenshot of the route worm that caught our attention! Notice big circled stars and small embedded points within the worm.
That was our inspiration to make more graphical updates sooner. Enjoy new UX at https://curiosio.com, follow your curiosity, stay safe and stay tuned.