The concept of personalization has been a hot topic in our industry over the past couple of years. Tailored approach has become integral, because individualized content resonates better with users, in the content overloaded world. Although the concept sounds simple, it takes a lot of thinking, time, and effort to deliver a well-designed, unique experience for users. Providing just enough personalization is key, and it takes trial and error to find that right balance between relevant and creepy.

Announced last week at Google’s I/O developer conference, the new Google Maps offers a targeted map experience for each user based on what matters the most to them. “Everybody gets their own map, every time,” said Jonah Jones, lead user experience designer for Google Maps.

The new Maps offers some fresh features, such as a 3D photo panorama tour and a new immersive interface with faster performance.

However, the targeted experience really appealed to me the most. And I think Google took a huge step forward to do it right.

The map prioritizes information, such as places and routes, based on general popularity and your friends’ likes on Google+. For example, if I search “pizza place in SoHo” the map sorts the search results based on what my friends like and their reviews.

The map also “learns” your preferences and search patterns, and further offers smart recommendations, e.g. the quickest route home and restaurants you might like nearby.

I’m excited about the new Map updates for desktop, and curious how this experience will be translated into the mobile space; Google has announced that iOS and Android versions are coming out later this year. For us, it is worth taking a deep look at the new API documentation as it becomes available and think about how we want to leverage the new capabilities for ROKKAN’s clients.