We’re preparing to road-test (or should that be ‘path test’?) a completed section of the map in the next fortnight with a group of local residents. This week has seen us take a reconnaissance walk around the trial area noting the sort of detail that rarely appears on maps and asking ourselves questions about what we do and don’t include. Out watchword is usability and thus too much detail – especially icons which we’re trying to avoid as much as possible – can clutter and make the map hard to read. We’ve far exceeded our original map data although online resources such as multimap are still proving useful for double-checking building layouts. There’s been much cross-referencing of road locations with getting-out-there-and-having-a-look being our definitive guide.
The test area can be seen below. We’re about to tweak the colour scheme and there’s yet to be labels added to some of the key buildings and a main street landmark or two. We’re also still trying to crack the dilemma of how to show the contours of the land without creating a birds eye view style map which we consider to be generally unhelpful to people navigating streets (unless you’re a bird).