Maps IA & place cards overhaul

Daria Vorontsova

Selected worksYandex


Maps IA & Place cards

Yandex Maps is a web mapping service. It offers information about places, route planning, real-time traffic conditions, street maps and satellite imagery. Yandex.Maps is the most popular cartographic service in Russia, with about 11.5 million users in Russia per month, and over 20 million worldwide.

Problem & Goal

New IA & Layout

We (design team and two PMs) outlined the problems, research findings, and did a series of brainstorming sessions that helped us define fundamental principles and ideas for further design explorations. Considering the audience size (~11,5 monthly active users) and how sensitive any changes might be, the whole redesign process was broken down into a series of small iterations. Each of them included broad design explorations, user testing, iterations, experiments and release.

Place Card Overhaul

One of the projects in this series that I was responsible for is a place card redesign. Places or businesses are the core of the product. Maps are responsible for the whole user experience from an intent ("I want a tomato soup", "I need to find a car park", or "I need a drugstore that works at night") to task completion (i.g. Get to the airport, find the nearest open drugstore, etc.)

Problem & Goal

Process & Result

First principles derived from the way people use interface and map when looking up different places. For example, when searching for an ATM or a gas station, their place on a map (how far they are and how long it takes to get there) is a key to choosing one option from the list of search results. At the same time, when choosing a restaurant or a barbershop, people are more engaged with content, i.e. photos, menu, services and open hours.

We introduced two types of layout: a wide card that takes generous screen space for "content-first" places and a narrow one for places where content is less important than a map.

The design I proposed was built up from modules—vertical stack of blocks in a particular order, where each block represents a single type of information like a photo gallery, contact details, reviews etc.
Maps is a free product where advertising is one of the primary revenue sources. The modular design allowed us to fit the advertising blocks in the layout in a less distracting way that it used to be before.

All those changes were released iteratively through a series of experiments. As a result of this work, we significantly improved UX, look and feel and increased content engagement (page-views, session time, scroll depth) while keeping the revenue from advertising at the same level (which was one of the critical success metrics).