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10 Must-Read Articles About Map User Experience

by Niharika Sisodia on Jan 16, 2019

This blog looks at the best articles for making maps. We’ve selected our top 10 articles aimed at helping designers create the perfect map user experience.

1. Maps in modern web design: showcase and examples

points-of-interest-map user experience

Published: 6th April 2010

This article explores the different uses of maps today and how understanding the use cases can help improve map user experience. Topics include:

  • How to highlight specific data sets when drilling down to focus on a specific area
  • How to show a correlation between a timeline and map content
  • Zooming to examine information more closely
  • Preventing clutter when using points of interest
  • How to use maps for data display

2. Design principles for cartography

Design_Contrast-map user experience

Published: 28th October 2011

This article outlines the principles and best practices so the user can understand the importance of the content in the map and on the page. UX features explored include:

  • Legibility
  • Visual contrast
  • Figure-ground
  • Hierarchical organization
  • Balance

3. 6 mistakes to avoid when designing maps for your apps


Published: 22nd November 2017

This article details decisions that lead to an ineffective user experience. It discusses common mistakes related to:

  • Scrolling and panning
  • Crowded map pins
  • Slow network
  • Gesture controls
  • Geolocation

4. Getting lost and found - maps and the mobile user experience


Published: February 2018

This article explores the best practices for mobile map design to enhance user experience. These include:

  • Using GPS and map data
  • Scrolling and panning
  • Adapting map pins for mobile screen
  • List view and map view options
  • Toolbar positioning

5. UX Case Study: Google Maps vs. Waze Mobile Apps


Published: 8th August 2018

A case study that compares the UX design of Google Maps to Waze Mobile Apps. The article compares and selects the winning design for:

  • Homescreen
  • Search
  • Navigation

6. Use of colour in maps


Published: Information not available

This article explores map user experience specifically in relation to colour. It goes into:

  • How to use colour for contrast
  • Colour schemes and their meaning
  • Improving user experience for the colour blind

7. 40 excellent mobile UI design examples


Published: 10th October 2017

This article gives visual examples of aesthetically pleasing mobile apps. Each design has improved map user experience for reasons such as:

  • Hamburger menus
  • Location search bar
  • Aesthetic

8. UX/UI best practices for designing map apps


Published: Information not available

This article takes it back to basics for those starting to consider user experience by looking at the fundamentals of the user interface. It explores:

  • Design influencers -  the factors to take into account when starting to think about design, such as cost, user needs and access to technology
  • User interface - how to stop users getting lost and frustrated with the map
  • User experience - how to guide the user through each task with ease

9. UI concept and user experience design of Google Maps


Published: Information not available

This article explores the user experience of a Google Map. Features of the article include:

  • Downloading a map - Google Maps allows a user to download a map
  • Geolocation - Google Finder in-car GPS that can access the car’s current location
  • Route planning - Google Transit calculates the time and cost of a specific route

10. Bye, Google Maps


Published: Information not available

This article explores the UX benefits of Citymapper for urban travel in comparison to Google Maps. It compares the time (in seconds) it takes a user to perform these actions:

  • Side by side transport times vs. selecting only 1 mode
  • How to view nearby train stations
  • How to revisit previously viewed destinations


To find out more about how to improve user experience with mapping, get in touch.


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