How would you improve Google Maps? | Google PM Interview
Google Product Manager Interview: How would you improve Google Maps?
Before jumping on to the solution,
Now, let’s get started with the solution (remember to follow the framework),
Step 0: Listen Carefully
Question asked: How would you improve Google Maps?
Two things to keep in mind:
Define the product - Google Maps.
Clarify & Define the term “Improvement”.
Step 1: Describe the Product
To start off in the right direction, you need to explain your understanding of the product – what does it do, who uses it, and how.
“Google Maps is a widely used navigation product that allows users to easily navigate from one point to another. It provides a variety of commute options, including driving, walking, and public transportation, and gives users the exact route, traffic conditions, estimated time of arrival (ETA), and the shortest path to travel between the two points.
In addition to providing navigation services, Google Maps also allows users to search for nearby places such as restaurants, gas stations, events, tourist areas, and things to do. This feature makes it easy for users to find and explore new places, and plan their trips accordingly.
Google Maps is also a platform that allows other businesses to access its maps through an application programming interface (API). This allows businesses to build additional features and services for their customers, such as location-based services, route optimization, and real-time traffic updates.
Google Maps is accessible from a desktop web, mobile web, and mobile app (Android & IOS). This makes it easy for users to access the service from any device, whether they are at home or on the go.
Google Maps has many competitors in the market, including Bing Maps, Here WeGo, MapQuest, OsmAnd, Maps.me, etc. However, Google Maps is the most popular navigation product in the market, with billions of users worldwide. It's widely used for its features that are easy to use, accurate, up-to-date and it's also a platform for businesses to build on top of it.
Now that we are clear on the product description and the interviewer is also onboarded.
Let’s move on to the next step: Ask Clarifying Questions.
You: “Before we move on, I have a few clarifying questions I want to ask. Shall I proceed?”
Step 2: Ask clarifying questions to narrow the scope of the question
Q) What do we mean by improvement here? What is the business objective/focus of this improvement?
Improve user engagement?
Increase user retention?
Increase user base?
A) It’s up to you. You are free to choose.
Q) Are we focussing on any particular platform like desktop web or mobile app?
Q) For the improvement are we focusing on a particular region or target group?
Step 3: Define the Goal you want to achieve.
The mission of Google is to “Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible.”
Google maps organize information related to routes throughout the world, give the ability to search for restaurants, attractions, gas stations, grocery stores, events, and things to do”.
Since Google maps have already acquired lots of consumers, my assumption is to focus on engaging the acquired users. Also, if we can increase the user engagement on Google, it will also lead to an increase in user retention.
Hence, for this question, my focus will be on improving user engagement.
Mention your approach -
“Now that we have defined the goals for this problem, I will go ahead and list down the user segments for this product, pick one user segment, followed by the pain points these users are facing, prioritizing them, and coming up with a prioritized list of solutions and metrics that we will track to identify its success.”
Step 4: List the User Segments and choose one segment to focus on.
Users can be divided into the following types,
Local businesses that have a listing on Google Maps.
Users consuming services to locate and navigate.
Business that use Google Map platform to build own apps and services.
I would like to focus on the daily users that rely on google maps for navigation. This segment can be further divided into,
Professionals - Uber/Ola/Lyft drivers or delivery drivers (Someone who wants to navigate to different locations).
Locals - Someone who wants to find and go to local restaurants/gyms/stores.
Vacationers - Frequent travelers to explore how the destination and journey look like.
Now, Select your user group and state your reason for the same. -
“For the scope of this question, I would like to focus on users who rely on Google for travel planning (Vacationers). This segment of users is very large and they use google maps, at least as one of the tools for their overall multi-day, multi-location travel planning, have requirements that are more nuanced than users who are navigating locally.”