1. Is Your Web Map Easy to Navigate?

Users need direction, and poor web map navigation frustrates them. The key is to keep your map designs simple and intuitive. Eliminating confusing labels, and icons.

Most users simply skim your web map and decide within the first 5 seconds whether or not it’s useful to them. To ensure minimal distractions, create a clear call to action and avoid invasive colors or confusing basemaps.

2. Are Your Call To Actions Clear?

The web map design gains the attention of your visitors. However, it’s the labelling and text that tells them what they are there for. Tell your visitors what to do and use specific action-oriented phrases.

In your sidebar, people are looking for information, therefore looking for text, not pictures. Being clear and concise and driving the point home in as few words as possible helps users digest information much faster.

Use colour coding and bullet points to make it easier for visitors who might just be skimming through to understand.


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3. Are Your Layers Loading Properly?

Load times are an important part of your users experience. If your layers are taking too much time to load, your users will simply leave and show up as a bounce rate. Users who spend more than 4 seconds waiting for a page to load, are 90% more like to drop off.

Tracking layer loads and server errors as well as their individual load times on your web maps is the first step to optimizing your web map for performance.

4. Are Your Web Maps Bouncing?

Typically you want your maps to encourage some kind of interaction – a pan, a zoom, a click. If users aren’t interacting with your web map, than you have what is called a bounced visitor.

Here are a few reasons this might occur:
* Viewer was referred to your map and it’s not what they were expecting
* Viewer can not figure out the user interface
* Your map is designed to be static or doesn’t require interactions

We dive deep into this subject in our Is Your Web Maps Bouncing blog post. But the bounce rate tells you the value of your web map. The higher the bounce rate, the less it’s resonating with your target audience which at the end of the day means wasted development time and money.

5. Are you trying to answer too many questions?

Web maps of the past, are notorious for trying to provide too much information, by adding layers on top of layers on top of more layers.

These multi-layered single app solutions, though provide a lot of useful information, tend to confuse users who are often looking for specifics to solve a single problem. And if you’re not able to showcase that you can solve their problem within the first 5 seconds, they’ll simply leave.

Having a single use web map that’s focused on a single use case, and answering just a few questions, have much higher activities/load and lower bounce rates.

So next time you’re building a web map, try to identify the web maps true north by narrowing in on it’s ultimate use case. Our data shows that web maps with 4+ layers have 25% lower engagement rate.


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