Over the past year, the Google Maps Directions team has been hard at work developing a variety of design improvements to make getting and following directions much easier.

It’s now simpler than ever to switch transport modes, change the time/date of your trip, get a high-level overview comparing different routes, and view details of a single trip at-a-glance.

To explore these improvements in more depth, let’s imagine that you’re planning a trip to visit the beautiful city of Z├╝rich, and would like to take public transportation from the airport to your destination in town.

We’ve made it super quick and easy for you to see all the available modes of transportation when you’re planning a route - you can see that driving, public transit, and walking are all available in this area. The options for setting a time and date for your trip are also now open by default for public transit:

Having selected your start location and end destination, you are presented with a series of suggested routes to take you from A to B. Each description is now much richer, making it easier to differentiate between similar routes:

Once you select a route, the individual steps for the trip are dramatically simplified and cleaner in the new design. The stations at which you’ll need to transfer, and the number of stops in between are now much more apparent. The sections of the route that involve walking are also much easier to spot since they’re indicated by a dotted line on the left:

Clicking on any step will also display more information. For example, we now show the stop preceding the one where you’ll need to get off, so that you can get your bags ready and prepare to disembark. And we’ve introduced turn-by-turn direction indicators for walking, driving and cycling:

Stay tuned for further changes as we continue to refine and improve your experience using directions from Google Maps. Enjoy your travels!

Posted by Jonah Jones, User Experience Designer