This weekend I spent a few hours at the Woodland Park Zoo doing an assignment for my biology class. When I was looking for an example of information design for this blog, it wasn’t long before I spotted the zoo map sitting on the other side of my desk. I thought it might be fun to use this map as my first example because I really did think it was well designed and not only that, but I had relied on and interacted with it for a few hours just yesterday. The first thing to consider when staring at this map is it’s audience. If you think about it, it’s quite expansive. Zoo visiters are people of all ages (lots of children and parents) and there were many times we heard people speaking languages other than english. That being said, the map has to be pretty simple for the amount of information it covers, and I really think it doesn’t a good job. The fact that it’s image based lets the user find whatever animal they want so that you barely even need to read it, which would be especially helpful for the kids. All in all, it was an easy to use map that got the job done, and it isn’t an eyesore either.
For my second example I thought I would stick with the map theme. This is a design I found from designspiration that depicts Manhattan and it’s various skyscrapers. While if I were actually on the streets of NYC right now and this was the only thing I had to work with, I would probably be a little worried. I’m not sure what the exact context for this map is but I love the idea of using shapes that look dimensional on this usually flat type of design. I like this design because it breaks away from the typical notion of what a map should be and it displays the information of which building is where in a very beautiful way. While I’m not as convinced this would work as an actual navigational map, I think it would be excellent if it were actually made in a 3-D model or could at least be viewed as such.