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MAPPING THE WAY FORWARD 
Richard Ingram 
@richardjingram 
UX Cambridge, 12th September 2014 
#uxcam
OpenStreetMap of Boston, MA 
So much to see and do and yet my stay was short.
Sketched map of Boston, MA 
I didn’t need an accurate map. My friends edited out what I didn’t need.
© Trustees of the British Museum 
Babylon 
Babylonian map of the world 
Clay tablet, probably from Sippar, southern Iraq (...
© Trustees of the British Museum 
London 
Edinburgh 
Hereford Mappa Mundi (‘Sheet of the World’) 
Inked parchment, the lar...
Administrative
Administrative Social
Administrative Social 
Military
Administrative Social 
Military Political
Walt Disney’s business map,1957 
Depicts a central film asset and its supporting entertainment assets
Growth of Las Vegas, NV 1984–2012 
Google Earth timelapse constructed from satellite imagery
Growth of Las Vegas, NV 1984–2012 
Google Earth timelapse constructed from satellite imagery
Radial hierarchical organisation structure 
About as complex and contradictory as its name suggests
John Rocque’s map of London, 1746 
Rocque deliberately left out the city’s unsavoury elements
John Rocque’s map of London, 1746 
Rocque deliberately left out the city’s unsavoury elements
John Rocque’s map of London, 1746 
Rocque deliberately left out the city’s unsavoury elements
Map of organisation-wide content distribution 
Or that giant hairball the cat coughed up yesterday. Equally yucky.
MAPPING OUT A STORY 
Beyond physical geography
Wabash river 
Ohio river 
Mississippi river 
© Trustees of the British Museum 
Native North American buckskin map 
Possibl...
Distribution Distance 
Overlap Direction 
N 
A 
B 
C 
A 
B
LIGHT 
HEAT 
Different maps, same basic 
building blocks 
SUN 
gives 
gives 
Exploded view Concept map
Different maps, same basic 
building blocks 
Topological map Star map
Find your coordinate system 
Anything can be mapped using pairs of opposites 
North 
West East 
South
Find your coordinate system 
Anything can be mapped using pairs of opposites 
Expensive 
Slow Fast 
Cheap
Find your coordinate system 
Anything can be mapped using pairs of opposites 
High 
Small Large 
Low
Plot your landmarks 
Start with the most prominent feature, then move outward
Plot your landmarks 
Start with the most prominent feature, then move outward
N 
Plot your landmarks 
Start with the most prominent feature, then move outward
FINDING OUR WAY 
The unfamiliar environment
Tackling that complex trinity 
Content governance is an important tool for this end 
Content 
People Processes
Maintaining content consistency is hard 
Particularly when many contributors have other responsibilities 
web-site? 
web
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014
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Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014

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Maps are more than just diagrams of the route from A to B – to draw one is to bring together the whole view of our surrounding world so that we can gain a better understanding of it. Even a single, simple example has the ability to delight, unsettle and reveal truths. In politically-charged environments an objective visual map can reinforce, influence or challenge held perceptions and beliefs, making them a vital tool in designing pliable, people-focused content systems that are fit for purpose. Their proactive and reactive qualities force ourselves and others to see things as they really are; to contemplate the relationship between them and how they vary together.

Presented at UX Cambridge 2014 at Churchill College, Cambridge on 12th September 2014.

Published in: Design, Technology
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Mapping the Way Forward UX Cambridge 2014

  1. MAPPING THE WAY FORWARD Richard Ingram @richardjingram UX Cambridge, 12th September 2014 #uxcam
  2. OpenStreetMap of Boston, MA So much to see and do and yet my stay was short.
  3. Sketched map of Boston, MA I didn’t need an accurate map. My friends edited out what I didn’t need.
  4. © Trustees of the British Museum Babylon Babylonian map of the world Clay tablet, probably from Sippar, southern Iraq (c.700-500 BC)
  5. © Trustees of the British Museum London Edinburgh Hereford Mappa Mundi (‘Sheet of the World’) Inked parchment, the largest medieval map known to still exist (c.1300)
  6. Administrative
  7. Administrative Social
  8. Administrative Social Military
  9. Administrative Social Military Political
  10. Walt Disney’s business map,1957 Depicts a central film asset and its supporting entertainment assets
  11. Growth of Las Vegas, NV 1984–2012 Google Earth timelapse constructed from satellite imagery
  12. Growth of Las Vegas, NV 1984–2012 Google Earth timelapse constructed from satellite imagery
  13. Radial hierarchical organisation structure About as complex and contradictory as its name suggests
  14. John Rocque’s map of London, 1746 Rocque deliberately left out the city’s unsavoury elements
  15. John Rocque’s map of London, 1746 Rocque deliberately left out the city’s unsavoury elements
  16. John Rocque’s map of London, 1746 Rocque deliberately left out the city’s unsavoury elements
  17. Map of organisation-wide content distribution Or that giant hairball the cat coughed up yesterday. Equally yucky.
  18. MAPPING OUT A STORY Beyond physical geography
  19. Wabash river Ohio river Mississippi river © Trustees of the British Museum Native North American buckskin map Possibly used in land negotiations with the British (c.1744)
  20. Distribution Distance Overlap Direction N A B C A B
  21. LIGHT HEAT Different maps, same basic building blocks SUN gives gives Exploded view Concept map
  22. Different maps, same basic building blocks Topological map Star map
  23. Find your coordinate system Anything can be mapped using pairs of opposites North West East South
  24. Find your coordinate system Anything can be mapped using pairs of opposites Expensive Slow Fast Cheap
  25. Find your coordinate system Anything can be mapped using pairs of opposites High Small Large Low
  26. Plot your landmarks Start with the most prominent feature, then move outward
  27. Plot your landmarks Start with the most prominent feature, then move outward
  28. N Plot your landmarks Start with the most prominent feature, then move outward
  29. FINDING OUR WAY The unfamiliar environment
  30. Tackling that complex trinity Content governance is an important tool for this end Content People Processes
  31. Maintaining content consistency is hard Particularly when many contributors have other responsibilities web-site? web

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