Find two maps of a building or place you have visited – one map is badly designed and the other is well designed. Be prepared to explain your examples and bring maps to class. Think of a time you were lost in a place and write in your journal how and why you got lost. What about the user experience didn’t work for you?
I visited Canberra recently and obtained two maps. One shows directions from the hotel to various notable locations around the hotel while the other is a map of the city of Canberra. Firstly, I would like to qualify that both maps are meant for different purposes in the context of way finding, so one map is understandably less detailed. However, for the purpose of comparing a bad map and good map it highlights features that distinguish between a good and bad map.
I recall being lost when I visited the Taronga Zoo in Sydney Australia during the recent summer holidays. After spending a day at the zoo, the time came to leave but I lost my way and ended up back at the entrance instead of the exit.
I got lost after wandering into one of the several trails that branch out from the main path. After walking the trail, I came out to a different part of the main path which seemed rather unfamiliar.
The problems with the user experience are as follows:
- Confusing signage
- Too many different paths within the trail
- Paths look too similar