Can the mouse click and drag functionality on map interface (such as Google Maps) substitute the need for pan (<, >, ^, v) buttons?

pan zoom buttons courtesy of Google Maps

Note: I have revised this question to exclude discussion on zoom since double clicking only allows zooming in (refer to answer by Riche Design).

  • Why does it have to be either-or? Just offer both, your users will thank you. Commented Oct 30, 2012 at 10:21

2 Answers 2


I think most novice user audiences will require the interface. I still don't really know how to zoom out with click and drag.

  • for instance, you click and drag up, that zooms in, and dragging down will zoom out.
    – PatomaS
    Commented Oct 30, 2012 at 5:09
  • Is that not for panning up and down? Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 0:27
  • the thing is mechanics are limited, and they where more limited time ago. I remember using this same technic to zoom in and out, but I can't remember where
    – PatomaS
    Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 2:19
  • Thanks for your input, I agree with you. That leaves panning unanswered. Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 4:06

I'd say that they can substitute the action quite well, but not the need itself. Need is something you feel.

But since users may be already used to that mechanic, you will have to add a legend to the map/application telling how to use it.

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