I would like to applaud the cities that go to the extra step in adding a map interface for consumer use. It is a step toward transparency and provides access to data 24/7. If you are going to put up a map, strive to make it easy for your grandma to use and not the guy sitting next to you in the GIS department. The map above is such a great example of what I am talking about.
What I like
- The fact that the city put up a map is great. I love maps and expect them at every city website that I go to.
- I like the use of standard zoom and pan controls that look like Bing and Google, two mapping applications that the general consumer has experience with.
- I can use this map, but I am a GIS Professional and have spent many years working with this type of interface. So for me easy but for the average consumer it is very challenging.
- First of all to access this map I need to click on a link that says GIS Map. A consumer has no clue what GIS nor do the care.
- A box of layers that is confusing and daunting to a consumer. One look and they will throw up their arms and go back to Facebook.
- Numerous GIS widgets on small buttons with icon images that mean absolutely nothing to a non GIS professional.
- The functionality is too generic and not focused into any specific use that the average consumer is interested in.
- First of all do not put the word GIS on the map link. Use something like Community Maps or City Maps
- Don't display every layer. Make your map specific to the one or two work flows that your consumers will be doing on the site such as property look up and use only the layers specific to those work flows
- Make buttons with easy to discover icons that the user will be able to understand. Make the buttons large
- Wrap work flows in to single step. i.e. Enter a APN press search and the maps zooms highlights the property and displays information that the consumer can use in a single process.
I give this map a 2 out of 10 for usability for the consumer audience
I give this map a 7 out of 10 for usability for the GISer's
Map Usability Fail Series: #1 Zoom To Rectangle
Map Usability Fail Series: #2 Map Widget Hoarding
Map Usability Fail Series: #3 Creating Custom Map Controls
Map Usability Fail Series: #4 Take Advantage of your Base Map Control!
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Map Usability Fail Series: #5 Take GIS out of Your Web Map! A Post - @SkipCody http://bit.ly/uYSdIm #WEBMAP #MAP #GIS