Re: [ia-55] Displaying user location, best practices

From: Chris C.
Sent on: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 4:56 PM
If they used auto-locate should it say "Current location" or should it specify where they are (and what form does that location take)?

I like to use iOS' Maps app as the gold standard here. I would expect the callout for my position on my map to be labeled "Current Location". A reverse geo-coded address is probably not terrifically important, but if the environment (iOS, Android, Google Maps API) offers it with relatively little effort, why not go for it.

In Maps, Apple uses "Current Location" as the dominant label on the pin's callout, with a minor label showing the reverse geo-coded address. Again, this is probably overkill. I don't necessarily need to know my current address if I'm trying to get directions to somewhere else. That's my iPhone's job.


If they entered location manually should it match the format they entered it in, or should consistently resolve to zip code or city/state? 

Users will generally enter all kinds of wacky formats for address searches. Running their input through the Google Maps API, you can usually assemble a much more readable or well formatted version of their query. I'd make use of that as much as possible, turning their input into clean, easy to read labels for use in the interface. For example, if you need to place a pin on the map that indicates their search origin, your can label it with something like "123 Main St" when the user searches "123 main st beverly hills ca".

Regarding which format to use when playing the information back, I always look for methods that are specific, succinct, and informative. If I can hit at least 2 of these, it's a good option. In other words:

User searches: 123 w main st beverly hills
Map callout reads: 123 W Main St
This is a specific and succinct way to play back what they expressed to the application. The map tiles themselves will usually provide enough visual context for the city and state, and if the search worked like it was supposed to, I shouldn't have any question about which city I'm looking at.

User searches: 90210
Map callout reads: Beverly Hills, CA 90210
This is a specific and informative. Perhaps I've been living under a rock and I didn't know that 90210 was part of Beverly Hills. Now I do.

Okay, back to work...


---
CHRISTOPHER
CAMARGO


w chriscamargo.com


On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 4:18 PM, Ernest Li <[address removed]> wrote:
Thanks for the responses so far. 

Hypothetical scenario:

1. User is using a mobile app that lists vegetarian-friendly stores and restaurants within a certain radius.
2. The user can either enter a location manually (using a zip, or city/state) or auto-locate using the phone's GPS.
3. The user enters their location (using either of the two options).
4. Their location updates, and they get a list of results.

So what does the updated location say? 
If they used auto-locate should it say "Current location" or should it specify where they are (and what form does that location take)?
If they entered location manually should it match the format they entered it in, or should consistently resolve to zip code or city/state? 

Hope that makes things clearer!




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