What Problem Does This Solve?
Provide methods for a user to define the start and end point of the route and sometimes even additional locations.
When to Use This Pattern
Use when stops necessary to calculate the route require input from the user, i.e. they are not predefined or detected via technical solutions used for tracking a device.
What’s the Solution?
A stop can be specified through one of the following positioning methods of which only the last two require a map:
- Unified Search (search for offices or persons)
- Geolocation (retrieve user’s current approximated location)
- Previous or saved locations (history)
- Points of interest (cafeteria, library, gym, post office, restaurants)
- Nearest facility (restroom, ATM, kitchen, first aid)
- Map click (requires a map)
- Map drag (requires a map)
The interface needs to provide a minimum of two entries for the starting point and the destination. It is not necessary to have a map showing the entered locations until both (or more) stops are defined even though application designers may choose to use the same map to define the positioning as well as to show the routing and navigation.
It is a good practice to let the user specify explicitly which point is being entered. This reassures the user to do the right thing and allows the display of different positioning methods accordingly, e.g. using Geolocation to define the starting point makes sense but not so much to define the destination. Same is true for nearest facility, which is more likely needed to define the destination. In other words, a common route request would be from my current location to the closest restroom but not the other way around.
Why Use This Pattern?
It is important to be aware and understand the differences of the different positioning methods in order to specify the start and end point of the route.
- Try to anticipate the position whenever possible.
- Start point is very likely the current location or a saved location (my office).
- Destination (end point) is very likely a point of interest or closest facility.
- When keeping a history of previously selected locations show the latest selection first (bubble up if necessary).