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I'm working on a small mockup for a list of items where each of them has a map. I think that directly displaying the map for each item will be a little bit overbloated for the users so I'm thinking on hiding it behind a link that will open it.

This is how an item looks like:

http://i.stack.imgur.com/YKsEd.png

And this is with the popover:

http://i.stack.imgur.com/LsjGK.png

And with the modal window:

http://i.stack.imgur.com/DmcPf.png

What would be the best from the user point of view, considering that a page might list around 20 items? Open the modal each time that the user wants to see the map of one item or just show it in a popover?

Is there any better solution?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It depends on how a user uses a map, e.g. on use case. Describe what are you expecting from user to do with a map. Does he need to carefully study a map and maybe browse another locations? Does he need only to have a quick look at the map? Does he need compare locations of different items?

Also both your solutions force user to do one more action - close a map. You should take this into account as this may become annoying when you open and close 20 maps at one page.

In my opinion you have two more options:

  1. Open inline map, i.e. somewhere inside your item.
  2. Open map in new tab/windows.

In both cases you can avoid closing a map - in the first case you can do it automatically when another item's map opens, in the second case - another tab is served outside your page.

So, it's possible to give user options, e.g. inline, popup, new tab.

Also, take in mind that map itself takes time to load, so new tab is not bad option for this case since it's done asynchronously. Also, inline map could be fast loaded as static image (in case your map service provider has this feature and it's appropriate for your use case).

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Thanks Serg! The use case would be that the user probably is only interested in a few items of the list, and the 'address' should be enough to provide all the information (the level of detail will be limited to neighbourhood for privacy and all the items are suposed to be nearby). So in fact the map its only an aid to help the user locate the item in the unusual case he doesnt have a clue of where is the location pointed in the address. –  marcmr87 Feb 11 '13 at 15:36
    
Also, im not very enthusiast of opening new tab/window as they users might have popups blocked...but I'll think about it. Thanks for your suggestions! –  marcmr87 Feb 11 '13 at 15:40
    
And one more thing. I have tried placing it inline, and I agree that it would be the best solution, but the fact that it pushes down the main content worries me a little bit...or I would have to move the address from under the title to avoid that which I dont really like. It's hard to put everything in place :( –  marcmr87 Feb 11 '13 at 15:47
    
In such case I think modal window is better choice because user need not do something else in parallel with map exploring. –  Serg Feb 11 '13 at 17:20
    
BTW, there is one more option - map could occupy separate place on a page outside item list depending on page layout, e.g. to the right from items list. Of course in such case one should make something to prevent map location from scrolling out. –  Serg Feb 12 '13 at 6:25
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