Consider combining maps with lists

Maps are an excellent way to show geography, but they may not work as well as you assume. Your site visitors may

• not know the geography well enough to select appropriately

• not divide the overall map the way you do

• not recognize abbreviations you are using

• find it too difficult to click on small targets (especially true of your older web users)

Combining a map with a textual list, allowing people to choose from either, as Lonely Planet does in Figure 11-13, may be a good solution that helps people select accurately and quickly while even learning a bit of geography.

Explore Europe fs If you rest the cursor on a M country - either on the map or in the list - both its picture and its name are highlighted.

The map and the list both P

information.

act as links to further

You can use this as a f ^yj geography lesson, as well as a travel guide.

When the focus is on a

up on the map and the target country, its name also comes area for clicking becomes clear - crucial with tiny countries like Liechtenstein.

When the focus is on a

up on the map and the target country, its name also comes

Albania

Ireland

Andona

Itty

Armería

Latvia

Au«na

Azerbaijan

Lithuania

Belarus

Lurifn bourg

Bdgkrn

Macadonia

Bosuo+iefceço-.t-ii

Mita

B'Jgar.a

Moldova

Canary Islands

Monaco

Chame- Island*

Honttnçro

GMUÍ

Nethar lands

Cyprus

Norway

Q«h RepuÖNc

Peí and

Darm ark

Portugal

England

Rom area

Estor»a

Russia

Faroe Islands

5an Marino

Finland

Scotland

France

Serb«

Georgia

Gam any

SJo-enia

Greece

îpaln

Greenland

Sweden

HcfySee

Switzerland

Huvjary

Tirfcey

[Cíltoí

Ubsne

Figure 11-13 Maps by themselves may not meet the needs of all your users. Combining a map and a list may be more helpful.

www.lonelyplanet.com

A story about maps: Remember the case study about getting a copy of your birth certificate (Chapter 4, Case Study 4-1)? Everyone agrees that the paragraph of text is a very poor way of telling people what to do. When I give people the exercise of finding the best way to help people select the state where they were born, I get three solutions: the list of states (as you saw in the case study in Chapter 4), a map of the U. S., and a drop-down list. When the workshop is in Washington State, many people suggest a map. When the workshop is in Washington, D.C., very few people suggest a map. Why? Washington State is large, easy to find in a corner of the country, and very far down if you are scrolling a list of states. Washington, D.C., is a tiny speck on the map, in the middle of many very small states, and near the beginning alphabetically (as District of Columbia). Think about the people who need to choose places like Liechtenstein and Washington, D.C., when you think of asking site visitors to work with maps.

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