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Looking to redesign the elements on a touchscreen dashboard UI that uses a map to monitor workers in the factory.

The following visual elements (in various combinations) are being used

  • workers
  • geofences
  • external hazard (e.g heat)
  • workers at geofences
  • geofences with hazards
  • workers near hazards
  • workers near geofences with hazards

enter image description here

On the map itself they could take many permutations.

enter image description here

Looking to improve on certain issues with the current soluton

  • In certain maps with multiple-level structures in close proximity to each other, causing the components to overlap

  • when there are workers in the upper levels it is not intuitive how many levels are below

  • a single worker or geofence icon thats too close might be misinterpreted as part of a multi-level element.

What would be a better approach to these issues and what's a possible solution?

EDIT: I believe improving the indicator for multi level structures (max 3 levels) would solve many of the issues

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  • Given the constraints, I think the best solution is to properly label each level and arrange them next to or below each other (in this case, you could arrange the levels from the bottom to the top level)
    – Devin
    Commented Mar 8, 2023 at 15:25
  • Is the map scrollable, zoomable ? "multi level structures" are you referring to "icons" or actual physical structures, like a building, what dose "UPPER LEVEL" mean when you say "when there are workers in the upper levels". Can you post a larger screenshot so we can get better feel of the UI?
    – Garik
    Commented Mar 14, 2023 at 13:07
  • @garik it's not scrollable or zoomable yet but its something we're looking at considering since some sites can be quite large. & Yes, the icons refer to actual physical structures. think distillation towers in factories. The UI is basically a map with blobs. All these blobs are clickable for more info
    – Blue Ocean
    Commented Mar 15, 2023 at 2:06
  • So your issue is that "blobs" clutter if the site is complex ?
    – Garik
    Commented Mar 15, 2023 at 2:27
  • that is one of the 3 issues.
    – Blue Ocean
    Commented Mar 15, 2023 at 6:45

2 Answers 2

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Unless I've misunderstood, the problem is fitting the UI elements in cramped spaces on a map. Taking inspiration from other services like Google maps may prove useful, since they've had to solve a similar problem. Abbreviating the iconography at low detail levels and showing the full information when zoomed in is one way to do it.

Services for selling apartments sometimes have to provide information about multiple apartments in the same building. Home trading service with pins on a map which shows combined pins where they share a location

The pin with numbers on it indicates the amount of information inside. Clicking the pin with numbers on it provides an opportunity to browse the objects at a glance before diving in. Another picture of the home trading service which shows a selected group of homes in a location and the interaction for browsing

I hope that provides inspiration for a possible solution!

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  • Thanks for the idea, however for this map the priority is giving visibility of everything at each level at a glance
    – Blue Ocean
    Commented Mar 8, 2023 at 8:39
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Here are some suggestions that might solve your problems:

  1. Use visual grouping. If elements overlap, use one element. The user will be able to see what's inside when scrolling or clicking. The same principle is used by many cards. An example is below.

In addition, as an option, you can use filtering to quickly select the necessary elements and remove unnecessary ones.

enter image description here

  1. Use additional characters and quantity. If you want to show the number of items within a group, just add symbols and the number for the first level. Then the user will understand what is inside without going inside the element.

  2. Separate visually the worker or geofence icon. They should not be similar, otherwise, users will confuse them on the map

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