Wednesday, September 15, 2010

UX Quickie: Padmapper's Walk Score Overlay

Being the sustainability-minded, car-free Seattlite that I am, I won't even consider a renting a place without a good Walk Score. But figuring out which places had a good Walk Score involved systematically going through each listing my search returned and copy-pasting the address into the Walk Score site. Even websites that had the score included often made you click-through to see it, making it still a process of systematically searching through.

But tools for apartment finding just seem to get better. Padmapper and Hotpads, in particular, are two of my favorites and were instrumental in not only helping me find my current place, but giving me the information I needed to negotiate the only rental discount of anyone in the building. Of the two, I find Padmapper's interface to be the most pleasing - a simple query box overlaid on Google Maps that you can minimize and get completely out of your way after you've input all your search parameters. Padmapper has recently added some really awesome new features (which they label "Super Secret Advanced Features" - I love tongue-in-cheek labels like that), and I loooooove their new Walk Score overlay:

Padmapper makes it easy to walk hard.
No more guessing and checking for those of us who are concerned about such things, and turn-off-able for those who really don't care. I suspect the fine folks at Walk Score are probably mostly responsible for this feature, but kudos to Padmapper for taking full advantage of it.

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