Hot answers tagged search
Spell it out to the user. You don't want to leave them guessing so I would recommend you add a simple addition to your UI. Note the change of language in the search box. By saying choose location you are more or less saying "do it here", whereby now it is clear it is just one of two options.
Just to think outside the box I've decided to paste a radical suggestion to this, as I have called it "map-tap" problem :) Imagine if a low opacity touch gesture image appeared over the map either for a few seconds and then disappear or it would stay there, lingering like a ghost, hinting to the user what to do. When a user taps the map it would disappear. ...
You could de-emphasize the search field, e.g. by not showing it by default. Just say "Choose a location" in the head of the screen, and have a magnifying glass button that pops up the search field for people who want to enter an address. Something like this: Even if you don't go with this approach, you might want to adjust your text sizes and wording. ...
Have you considered moving the map, rather than moving the "pin"? Scrolling a map is a common action in most map applications, if you keep the reticule static and move the map underneath it, the user can target their desired position. The text in the box should update as the user scrolls. This might allow you to get away with no additional help messaging. ...
Since users are likely to see the entry form first, how about using the placeholder text for this? "Enter location or just pick from map ..."
I think you can have both worlds in the scenario you described. First, add the "choose location" as optional input box when searching. Insert it near the search field so that it will be seen, but don't require the user to fill it. Then, if location wasn't entered and user searched - he may receive too much irrelevant results. Then you can have a helper text ...
I think that this approach would provide the most control: download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups
Here is my solution - crosshair. Map can be moved but selected location is obvious. Screenshot is a few years old, hence Android 2.x maps and widgets.
It's called Annotated Scrollbar. See definition and 5 different usage examples from Quince. Scrollbar markers are another variation on this pattern.
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