The UX of Maps in Web Design
Maps are an excellent way to improve user experience and make people spend more time on your website. They provide an intuitive way of presenting interactive information about your services. This is why it is crucial to incorporate a map into your overall web design.
While maps can effectively provide information to your website’s visitors, more map data for the user doesn’t mean a better user experience. If your map has too many points of interest, your viewers can quickly get overwhelmed and exit your site or app in moments. The key to having a map design that draws people to your website or app understands what information is essential to the user. It will ultimately help you provide what the users need to be exposed to.
So How Can You Use Maps to Improve User Experience on Your Website?
1. Navigation & Direction
Maps have been used for ages for navigation and providing directions. Interactive maps make it easy to precisely enter your current location and information on where you need to go. You can also select the desired method of transport. The map then offers suggestions on different routes and the time to your destination. While these are great functions, you must understand what functionality your users need.
2. Showing Relationships & Geographical Trends
You can also use maps to show relationships and trends in a specific geographic area. A good instance you’ll see in every election in any western country is the map showing which political parties are in control in specific areas. You must update the map in real-time because if you use a static map, the information will become obsolete as soon as the map is published.
3. Display Points of Interest. (POIs)
Interactive maps also display points of interest in a particular area. The first thing you see when you open a map is an overview of popular points of interest. With a zoom function, you can see more details about areas not shown in the overview. This ensures that the user gets only the necessary information based on the zoom level.
What’s more? Zooming in on a specific area will reveal parks, restaurants, bus stations, and universities. Tapping on these locations will reveal more information, such as their opening hours and busy times, user photos, reviews, and connections to nearby locations and features.
How Do You Improve Interactive Maps?
Here are four tips to help you create more effective and engaging maps that will be more useful to your website users.
1. Keep It Secure to Ensure Brand Trust
Follow GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) when creating maps. GDPR is a European law that offers legal protection to European citizens regarding personal data. Ensure that you seek users’ consent before processing personal data and have a retention policy for any information capable of identifying individual people. If the interactive maps on your website do not follow GDPR, you could be fined up to 20 million euros or 4% of worldwide annual income, which is greater.
Also, ensure that the maps on your site are brand-oriented. You could incorporate your company’s branding colors in your map design. It will help you gain the trust of users in using your services.
2. Use the Right Type of Map
It’s crucial to consider what type of map is appropriate for your users’ needs. Think carefully about what information your users need and how best to present it. For instance, it is more appropriate to use a point of interest style map in a tourist app rather than a heat map. People want to know the popular POIs and key data such as opening and closing hours.
3. Avoid Unwanted Pop-ups
Unwanted pop-ups on your site or app will quickly irritate users, and they will uninstall or “bounce off” your site in moments.
4. Avoid Auto-Geo location
While auto-geo location may sound incredibly convenient, it can pose some real problems. If there are any bugs with the auto-geo location, it could produce false and inaccurate results. So it’s best to ask users to input their location themselves.
Business Websites Gold Coast - In a nutshell, the success of your business may depend on creating interactive maps that meet the needs and wants of your users. Take surveys to find the specifics of users so you can work towards meeting their needs
Ben Abbie is the writer and contributor for Coastline Blinds
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