I'm working on a web tool that requires users to choose their region as a search filter. I'm trying to decide if it will be best to use a drop-down list (there will be 15 regions) or a clickable map image. The standard arguments against maps don't really apply as it's not world wide, every region will be easily defined and be bale to be clicked precisely, and users will be geographically aware, as they will be selecting the region they live in. A map looks nicer, and is more interesting than a drop down box - but from a usability perspective, what do you think it best? The users will vary from people that are used to computers, to those that aren't so familiar, so it needs to be intuitive and easy to use.
Maps are better looking; and in theory faster to use. But they offer poor accessibility; novice computer users may no realise that you can click on a map; and more people than you may think would have trouble selecting the area that they live in. When you think about it, most people rarely come into contact with the geographic boundaries of a place they live in.
Drop downs take up little space; will likely list a name people are likely more familiar with; and are good in terms of accessibility. But they don't look very good, and take more steps to select.
But what's stopping you from having both options at the same time? There are good arguments for maps, and good arguments for drop downs, but I don't see any reason not to to use them both.
A crude mockup of what I am referring to: