What Problem Does This Solve?
Introduce the user to the application and gather first inputs to optimize the map experience
Why Use This Pattern?
For years map application developers have chosen (intentionally or not) to start the application with the map at the smallest possible scale, i.e. the initial map extent shows the complete extent of the United States. In the least of cases this results in an acceptable user experience for two main reasons: firstly the user typically only cares for their own location, e.g. their state, home, or current location, and secondly showing all the data at a small scale is overwhelming, feels crowded, takes long to render, and most of all isn’t relevant.
Adding a landing page that prompts users to provide certain inputs like typing or selecting a location allows the application to start at an extend that is meaningful, focused and less overwhelming.
When to Use This Pattern
While landing pages are important entry points for any application type, they are most commonly used for focused, public-facing applications that are used by a wide variety of people to find answers to specific questions. Good examples of sites that facilitate landing pages can be found in the travel, recreation, and real estate industries. The main input is a person’s location of interest like their travel destination or home.
What’s the Solution?
Add an extra page or full-page overlay before the user reaches the actual map application. This page is called landing page and consists of few elements and a generous layout with bold images, typography and concise copy. Offer one primary call-to-action (CTA) action, typically a Location Finder sometimes paired with a Locate Me action, and optionally alternative means to Browse Geographies or go directly to map knowing that further interactions will be required then. Since the goal at this point is to capture and funnel the user into a workflow, the landing page needs to be brief, concise, attractive, and reduce the amount of distractions like links and options that don’t lead to the end goal.
The main measure of success for the landing page is whether a visitor becomes an active user, i.e. keep the conversation rate high by simultaneously reducing the bounce rate in which visitors abandon the site. The best way to accomplish that is by researching the target audience, understanding who they are, what they need or desire when coming to the site, and offering a clear way to solve this end-user need.
Cheng, Henry: “How to craft an effective landing page? — a UX case study”; Sep 13, 2018; https://uxdesign.cc/how-to-craft-an-effective-landing-page-a-brief-case-study-7c592ba4b967