I am a UI/UX designer. I am also an avid mountain biker.

I am part of a trail building committee with a local group from my city.

Having a technical background, I have been tasked in mapping out our local trails using GPS devices, and uploading these trails to a series of trail websites, printable pamphlets and other industry related applications and databases. The end goal is to have a great trail system that is easy to find, use and navigate.

Unfortunately, I'm a UX designer, and I enjoy providing good user experiences.

Here's my issue:

I could just simply go map out the trails, give them some random names and be done with it.

However, from my own experience on other trails, I find it very difficult to learn and navigate trail system where trail names are like "Daves Trail". Although "Dave" probably likes this name, for someone not familiar with the area, it gives me no context(direction, trail heads, features, etc.) to what lies ahead.

With my trails, I want to give them strategic and semantic names.

So to all of you UX experts out here, what would your approach be to creating a good, readable and user friendly trail system/map.

Here are some concepts I was thinking of using: *Note: our trails are bound by 4 major roads/highways

-Incorporate North,East,South,West in trail names.
eg. DavesTrail_East or DavesTrail_E

-Incorporate trail destinations/heads in  the name
eg. DavesTrail_2MainLot or DavesTrail_2ML for short

-Incorporate the closest major road/highway
eg. DavesTrail_2HardyRoad or DavesTrail_2HR

-Randomly name trails
eg. Daves Useless Trail Name

My thoughts:

I personally do not carry a compas, and have no idea N/E/S/W, and I have a feeling this is pretty common. However, the NESW may be more meaningful to people not from the area.

I think adding the bounding roads to the end of the name are the clearest, that way I always no that I am heading in that direction. Or if I know one of the main roads I came from, I can hop on any trail with name, and eventually find my way back.

What are your thoughts?

  • 1
    I laughed at "unfortunately, I'm a UX designer, and I enjoy providing good user experiences." Jan 25, 2017 at 21:31

1 Answer 1


I would think it'd be most useful if Dave didn't have a say at all and the trails were named after significant features you'd see on the trail.

For example, Hardy Road Tr., Lake Overlook Tr., or Great Cliff Tr. are all decently descriptive of what you'd expect to find on the trail.

If they're loops, you could have markers for NE Hardy Road Trail Head --> to explain where bikers are headed.

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