Every once in awhile I encounter a feature in an app or service that is so smart I have to, well, write a blog post about it. Today I’m loving Waze’s “Go later” button, an option at the bottom of the destination action sheet that opens a screen that I think is extremely well designed both in terms of feature set and interface.
At the top is a reminder of what the user is trying to do, drive later to AT&T Park, the destination entered before, from the starting point, the current location. Below that is a dropdown for the day with the default set to Today.
It’s the graphic below that and the interaction with it which I think is brilliant: the bar graph on the right clearly shows the times that the journey is expected to take, when it’s worse, and when it improves. The shading of each bar, from yellow to dark red, also indicates the severity of expected traffic and it’s instantly clear that scrolling down will allow selection of a later arrival time while considering traffic. Each arrival time has an expected drive time and, accordingly, when to leave by to make it there on time. Finally, after selecting an arrival time, it can be saved so that Waze sends a reminder to leave on time. What I liked about this screen is that even though the bar format is not a widely used interface, it was instantly clear what information it was trying to convey and how to navigate that information to make the right choice.
Now, there’s no love without a desire to improve. One thing I’d like is to integrate parking information. Waze already knows where I want to go – I picked AT&T Park as my destination. Then I picked their recommendation for the most popular parking lot. However, that parking lot is, as Waze tells me, an 8 minute walk away from the park itself. So, it would be great if:
- Waze would take my original desired arrival time and add the walking distance from the parking lot to the destination (in this case, AT&T Park itself) to the originally stated time.
- Is there room at the parking lot? Some lots know how many free spaces they have. Could Waze create an interface for lot owners to update availability?
- Pricing of the lots. Sometimes a parking lot a short distance away offers rates that make the extra walking distance worthwhile. Can Waze help make that tradeoff?
Finally, I wonder if the time of the alert changes if a user changes their location? In my example, I set up an alert to get to AT&T Park from my home. But if later in the day I end up closer to the destination, will Waze notify me according to the new location? Also, will the notification time change if actual traffic is worse or better than predicted? Both require constant monitoring of traffic conditions but the former could be extremely valuable to users. After all better to be early than late.
All in all, a really well done feature. Respect to the UI designer that got this right.