Pete Gale (cogapp): Usability issues with maps

February 9, 2010

From the ‘Wayfinding’ talk at UX Brighton 9.2.2010; Pete talks about experiences from user testing tfl related sites/apps

    When developing wayfinding tools such as maps, consider:

  • Attitudes
    People do have attitudes amongst maps, not everybody likes them
  • Interaction
    People do not necessarily read affordances provided in the map (eg dragging with the hand)
  • Information
    Too much information can obscure the map; information as clutter and noise; consider density of information and level of detail
    Often, the journy is less important than actual information around the start and the end point of a journey
    Examples: Mapumental
  • Wayfinding
    Discrepancey of how the world is represented on a map and how it is perceived by people; example: people usually do not use street names to decribe a journey, but landmarks; problem: how can landmarks be described adequately; problem of crowdsourcing ‘popular’ information: data are dirty; think of simplicity vs. complexity, concrete vs. abstract
    Examples: Legible London; Here & There
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