Microsoft & Nokia today announced the first result of their mapping technology partnership that was done a year ago. Microsoft Bing Maps team worked with Nokia and Windows Phone teams to deliver a unified map style based on one set of design principles with the goal of providing a more intuitive and pleasing online mapping experience.
Here is the three main things they decided on,
Common color palette for road map style Weâ€™ve updated our color palette to create a cleaner and consistent view of roads and landmarks resulting in a map thatâ€™s easier to interpret. For instance, the new road color is further clarified from rivers while not competing with traffic colors or overlaid information.
We focused significantly on improving various typography components in order to provide further clarity on maps including font updates, improved readability and contextual labeling. Type size hierarchy further delineates classes of labels. The user watches city names consistently grow and become more transparent through the zoom levels. Small type is demystified from its surroundings with a technique that reduces clutter instead of adding glows or ever-present strokes. The right use of typography helps our customers consume mapping details more quickly.
Using Visual Hierarchy to create Focus and maintain context
At each level, thereâ€™s an appropriate amount of information conveyed to the user. Too little or too much information can lead to overload and thereby an unpleasant user experience. Weâ€™ve redesigned with this in mind, so a very different level of information is presented to you when you zoom compared to when you pan out. Go in for detail, pull back for context. We strive to keep the orientation and context of a user within the map surface persistent across various levels of zoom
These design elements will be reflected in Bing Maps (http://www.bing.com/maps) and Nokia Maps (http://maps.nokia.com) and on your mobile device. Another important thing, Bing Maps will be updated often as result of partnership with Navteq and will add coverage of more countries soon.