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MAPS ON WEB PAGES:
AN EXAMPLE OF GOOD DESIGN PRACTICE

I wanted to make some comments on this article for two reasons. [1] the subject itself, and [2] as an example of good practice. In more detail ...

[1] Maps and directions on web pages struck a cord with me - and reminded me of incidents from the past and present. Some years ago I did some work with local bed and breakfast and small hotel owners with regard to their websites. The main issue was that - effectively - they were all offering the same product, at the same price, in the same place. I encouraged them to 'personalize' their website's content by injecting there own [or the hotel's] personality into the text. The other thing I said was to make their website useful to the potential customer. If they thought the web content was useful, then they might perceive that to be a reflection of the service quality they will receive if they stay at that accommodation. For example, A detailed map of how to find the hotel [turn left immediately after the BP petrol station ... ] and a guide to local attractions [20 minutes steady walk, 5 minutes on bus - every 30 minutes, 5 minutes in car but parking poor]. Remember, this was a crowded market - and 'you are your website' - a little thought up front can win customers down the line.

[2] July 07 saw me travel to Southport for a wedding. The hotel we stayed in was excellent, but on its web page its address was presented as an image - and it did not include a post code [zip code]. This meant that [a] you can't 'cut-and-paste' the address into any of the many online direction guides, and [b] you can't feed the post code into a car's sat-nav system. As an appendum to this story. My wife wanted her hair done on the morning of the wedding, and we got Google directions from the hotel to the salon. Sadly, the post code of the shop actually directed us to the back of the shop - we ended up in a loading bay. Moral? Check the directions to your own premises and if there is a glitch mention it on your web page - and give your own 'personalized' directions to not only where you are, but the nearest car park.

The article - Putting Your Small Business On The Map.

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