MapCarte 123/365: Motorcycle Accidents by MCE Insurance, 2012


Click on the image to view the online web map

Interactivity is the key to making a good web map. it does not have to be all singing, all dancing, it just has to be clear to the user in terms of how it works and then it needs to work.

The map of motorcycle accidents by MCE insurance illustrates how the user interface design supports interaction effortlessly. On opening, you’re presented with a nicely stylised base map of Great Britain. It’s tilted, has some texture, has some simple effects like patches of trees and also some moving clouds and a gleaming sun. These items aren’t particularly purposeful but they do create a look and feel that lifts what might have been a very simple base map above the mundane…crucially without over-doing it. Making your map ‘different’ is a good move as long as it doesn’t detract from the overall purpose. The monochrome base to all content except key figural elements works well.

The list of filters is neatly presented on the right in a vertical column. No awkward tabs to leaf through. Clicking on a filter turns it into a highlighted arrow pointing to the map. Symbols update. Hover over a location and you’re presented with clear facts in a popup (no click needed). Each filter is colour coded and the map updates accordingly with the same coloured themes that provides an immediate visual link. The information panel on the right provides some headline information.

The map, in many ways, is simply a visual anchor for the information. It takes a back seat and allows the user to drive other content. It’s a very useful way to incorporate maps and graphics together and to make the delivery of the detail more engaging.