I am surprised that Waze has yet to be published in the Oxford English Dictionary. Waze is the preeminent social navigation mobile app. It directs a driver from point A to point B using data from other drivers. It uses both active input from drivers, as well as passively collecting average speeds and optimizing your route automatically. Waze was acquired by Google in 2013 and currently integrates into Google Maps.
Waze is still immensely popular even though on a functional level it is similar to Google Maps. The magic in Waze lies in the gamification of navigation. Instead of a plain arrow, every driver is depicted on the map with his own character. You can even honk at a passerbyer on the road. Additionally, they constantly update the voices to create a unique, exciting driving experience. Waze also features scoreboards where you can earn points for inputting information about the road conditions. Simply put, Waze is fun to use.
Simplicity is a core feature of the Waze app. From a design standpoint, the in-app flow is logical and clean. For example, when you enter your desired destination, you are shown a clear picture of the route in both text and pictures. It shows a graphic of your drive with pictures depicting different issues on your drive (police, roadblock, pothole, etc). It also makes reporting road conditions easy with clear, large images. This is a notable feature because context is key for a well-designed. People aren’t interested in reading long strings of texts while driving.
There are a plethora of navigation apps but Waze is constantly rated at the top because they understand what makes a superb mobile app. Ease of use distinguishes Waze from its competitors, fully optimizing the experience for the mobile device. Some apps are trying to do everything; Waze understands where it excels and improves upon that. Waze wants you to get from Point A to Point B in the most efficient fashion and it does a darn good job of accomplishing that.
Written by Aaron Miller
Business Development Manager, GPShopper