Tom Hacohen on designing an app that drivers won’t pay *too* much attention to and turning to Wazers for inspiration

Waze’s head of design Tom Hacohen shares what it’s like to create an app that’s safe, playful, and constantly changing.
Waze’s head of design Tom Hacohen shares what it’s like to create an app that’s safe, playful, and constantly changing.

We caught up with Tom Hacohen, head of UX design at Waze, to learn what it takes to create an app that’s safe, fun, and constantly changing.

When it comes to user experience (UX) design, most apps focus on attention-grabbing experiences that suck users into the screen. But at Waze, we’re designing an app for people on the road, so safety comes first. We always have to keep in mind that a driver’s eyes are not fully focused on the app, nor should they be!

This is a departure from some of my previous design roles, like when I worked…


Harness Waze’s knowledge of the roads, even before you leave the house

We all like options. From dinner locations to workout playlists to movie nights, we want to choose what best suits us at any given moment, based on our priorities, the weather, or even simply our mood.

And we know love for information is no different when you’re behind the wheel. You want options for getting from A to B — the cheapest, the shortest, the fastest — and you want to be sure whichever you choose is actually going to deliver before you commit to a route.

This…


For Juan, nothing beats the drive to “one of the most amazing and beautiful places on Earth.”

Wazer and Map Editor Juan took two road trips to Niagara Falls — one with his father, and one with his new fiancée.
Wazer and Map Editor Juan took two road trips to Niagara Falls — one with his father, and one with his new fiancée.

When you’re headed to your favorite place, hitting the road can feel just as good as reaching your destination. And for Juan, nothing beats the drive to Niagara Falls. A Waze Map Editor from the Toronto area, Juan has turned the 80-minute drive into a tradition for him and his dad, and now, for him and his new fiancée, Nicole. Learn how his trips to “one of the most amazing and beautiful places on Earth” have become filled with a little bit reggaeton, a touch of reroutes, and a whole lot of love.

My dad’s name is Juan, just like…


From grassroots organizers to innovative partnerships, community allies are helping neighborhood shops stay resilient.

Ever since the pandemic hit, communities have been banding together to help small businesses.
Ever since the pandemic hit, communities have been banding together to help small businesses.

When the pandemic hit last year, Melissa Manice knew that the small businesses in her hometown of Larchmont, New York would need a lot of help.

As the co-founder of One Larchmont, a nonprofit that helps preserve the town’s historic districts, Manice was intimately familiar with the local mom-and-pop shops that had shut down essentially overnight. Unless somebody found a way to support these beloved bookstores, clothing stores, and retail spaces, most of them would never reopen. So she got to work.

The story of what happened next in Larchmont is a reminder of how strong community allies can make…


We’re finally getting some answers.

We did a formal investigation to find out why dads love Waze.
We did a formal investigation to find out why dads love Waze.

There’s a stereotype that dads hate to admit they don’t know where they’re going. But we’re gonna go ahead and challenge that because … they love Waze. They report hazards, remind their kids to “Waze it” before leaving the house, and switch up the voices that guide them. When they show up to events slightly early, they pull out their phones and show off how Waze routed them around traffic or where they reported a speed trap. The question is…why?

In honor of Father’s Day, we hired an investigative team (OK, our creative director suggested it and we all just…


Inside the design process that put Waze functionality on CarPlay’s main screen

Bringing Waze to the Apple CarPlay Dashboard makes driving easier than ever.
Bringing Waze to the Apple CarPlay Dashboard makes driving easier than ever.

Under the Hood gives you an inside look at different parts of how Waze works — straight from the people working on them every day.


Plus, a soundtrack to your drive (and tea!) with Boy George

This month marks the beginning of annual Pride celebrations around the world. It’s a time to recognize the progress and ongoing fight for visibility, acceptance, and legal protections of the LGBTQIA+ community. And a reminder to all that everyone should have the freedom to live openly because love is love. In honor of this moment, we’re excited to welcome Boy George to Waze.

A music and fashion icon who has, for decades, represented what it means to live authentically and unapologetically, Boy George uses his signature voice to create not only instant classics, but also impassioned songs that shine a…


In small towns, mobility plays an essential role in bringing together LGBTQ people and allies.

Mobility plays an essential role in strengthening queer communities in small towns.
Mobility plays an essential role in strengthening queer communities in small towns.

When Christina King organized a Pride picnic three years ago, she kept her expectations in check. After all, she was doing it in Galesburg, Illinois, and celebrating Pride usually meant driving an hour to Peoria or three hours to Chicago. If 75 people showed up, King decided the picnic would be a success.

It went much better than she had hoped. “That first year, we had about 150 people,” King recalls. “The pavilion was packed. We were like sardines.” The second year, nearly 300 people attended. And even though the Galesburg Pride picnic was canceled last year, local politicians declared…


Take notes because they have some great ideas.

For Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating the moms who get creative with their cars.
For Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating the moms who get creative with their cars.

Moms have been getting creative with their cars long before 2020. But over the past year, they’ve relied on them more than ever — to take uninterrupted calls, meet with friends from a distance, or blast non-kid-friendly songs from high school.

Now let’s take a moment to applaud moms around the world for their grit, creativity, and every single one of their inventive hacks for finding solace in the car. Happy Mother’s Day.


Traçando a história do Waze: de fórum virtual a uma comunidade com mais de 50 mil voluntários em todo o mundo

Para realmente entender o mapa do Waze e como ele se tornou tão popular, precisamos retomar a história de um pequeno grupo de voluntários que literalmente desenhavam mapas com seus carros com algo chamado “FreeMap”.

Pela primeira vez, estamos voltando ao começo de tudo e refazendo o caminho que nos leva aos milhares de editores de mapas, localizadores e testadores beta que fazem do Waze o que a plataforma é hoje. Dos engarrafamentos aos túneis e a uma era distante da Internet.

Tudo começou em Tel Aviv em 2006.

Waze

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