I'm working on a site that has a designed map of the US with market areas. There is currently only one market area per state. Once a market is clicked on, it will go to a Google map of the market with multiple marked locations within.

My question is: on the original designed map, should I make the entire state clickable (as there's only one market per state) or should I make just the market marker clickable?

My initial instinct is to go with the market marker so that it's more consistent with the Google map functionality once we get to that level. Also, it will prevent any issues of changes to the user interface down the road should there ever need to be multiple markets in a single state.

2 Answers 2


Why not just use Google Maps in the nationwide view?

Switching between different map UIs could be confusing, and you are already thinking about replicating default Google Map behaviour.

If it is design you are concerned about, you can even (with some effort) customize a Google Map - see https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2036004/is-it-possible-to-customize-the-color-scheme-of-a-google-map

I think this is the simplest, most intutive model.


Why is the state level relevant? Do you envision people being interested in a particular state rather than simply which one is closer to them?

I don't see any benefit in breaking from what people are used to with Google Map functionality. If I see a map of the US with various markers I'm not going to think about whether I should click on a state. The idea won't even enter my mind. I'm going to click on one of markers based on whichever location is best for me.

Realistically, I find it hard to find anything other than a government context where there would be one market per state regardless of size. So Rhode Island needs the same number of markets as California? I doubt it. So in all likelihood you are going to have multiple markets per state, which is just another reason to follow the standard pattern of using a Google Map.

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