Best Practice: Designing User-Friendly Indoor Maps
LogicJunction designs user-friendly indoor maps for organizations using best practices we’ve developed through user testing. One of the first steps in creating a digital map is collecting computer-aided drawings, commonly referred to as CADs, for the buildings that will provide interactive directions to users.
CAD drawings provide the building framework, including the scale and positioning of physical elements inside of the space, such as hallways, entrances, exits, etc. At first glance, some may say they are difficult to understand, however, they are critical to developing a reliable indoor navigation system. Accurate floor plans ensure points of interest are placed in the correct location, lending themselves to the accuracy of user routes and helpful features, such as estimated walking distance and travel time.
One of the questions we are often asked is how to personalize indoor maps with customer branding, establishing consistency between physical and digital elements, while at the same time making the wayfinding experience easy to understand- for every user.
According to Maia, our digital map extraordinaire, “A great wayfinding system is great branding.” Many organizations distinguish themselves from competitors by leveraging smart technology as a key component of their wayfinding strategy.
That being said, here are a few tips to consider when starting a digital mapping or indoor navigation project.
- Color schemes: Maia recommends using a limited palette of colors in digital maps. For inspiration, look at brand colors or colors represented within the interior of your facility. Not every color is optimal on digital devices, so this is where LogicJunction excels. We’ll develop a few options and recommendations for you to select from based on your preferences. The result is an easily decipherable and aesthetically pleasing indoor map for your users.
- Icons and symbols: Using universally understood icons and symbols are important. But we also understand variations in iconography, such as a symbol for a waiting area, as shown below. Maia spends time understanding these differences during site visits so that the indoor maps accurately reflect your indoor space.
- Restricted areas and hallways: Consider all of the aspects of a facility, such as restricted areas. Does exposing them add value to end users, or does it complicate the experience? Not every facility is the same, so it becomes important to understand how these elements impact user experience. Maia helps determine which elements need to be exposed, muted in the background, or hidden within your digital maps.
We find map design is just as important as system performance. We hope you’ve found our best practices for designing user-friendly indoor maps helpful. Intuitive maps are critical to a sustainable indoor navigation system. By adding ‘purposeful context’, Maia and our map designers provide users just enough detail to navigate effectively, creating a seamless flow between physical and online environments. The result is a comfortable and intuitive digital experience no matter which LogicJunction platform is used.
Take a look at some of the maps we’ve designed for our customer’s within our project gallery.