Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mapping help

My mother called from her cousin's home in Bethesda, MD. They want to drive from Jean's home to the Bethesda Station and want good directions. Mom called me and asked for help finding a map online. I described the procedure but it includes several steps. I used Google Maps to find the address and captured the link and created an email message to send the link. But it turns out that the link is so long, that the email program breaks it into at least 3 lines. Since it requires that they reassemble the link (fraught with challenges), I simplified it by creating a simple link here: directions to Bethesda Station.

Her browser did not render the link so she could not see the map (old browser or javascript not enabled?). I ended up cutting the directions from the map page and pasting them into an email message and sending it to Jean's address. They won't have the visual but the text will be accurate. The concept appeals but useability still lags. I forget too easily how much tacit understanding we bring to the interface.

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