You’ve no doubt heard the saying “Less is More” or “Keep it Simple Stupid!” (KISS). These terms apply quite well when applied to user interface design for web based GIS applications. When we present important information to our users, we want that information to be seen. Our customers should not have to hunt through the site to try and find the important bits of data that we want them to consume. Our job as web developers and designers is to communicate our meaning and content clearly.
Your primary focus when creating the user interface for a web based GIS application is to create applications with a narrow focus that are easy and intuitive to use. It is likely that your end users will already be familiar with and understand how to use the navigation components of a map. They will expect to be able to navigate through the rest of your application in the same ways.
A narrowly focused application is of utmost importance. Don’t try to recreate your desktop GIS software in a web environment. It will take far too long to develop and will only frustrate your users. The addition of too many buttons, tools, and menus can really detract from the core functionality you want to provide your users.
- The Quest for Great Web Design
- Fundamentals of HTML
- Fundamentals of CSS
- Putting it all Together
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