Re. Imagemaps onthe web

Subject: Re. Imagemaps onthe web
From: Geoff Hart <geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 1995 10:25:51 LCL

Here's another great (and almost never used) use for image
maps on the web: to show people where they are within your
collection of information. Think of this as the "you are
here" arrow on those store maps you find in large shopping
malls: here you be, here's how you got there, here's what
is around you, and here's how you'd travel to go somewhere
else. You can do this very, very, very simply using
monochrome line art (e.g., a flowchart, a roadmap with your
current location circled, a topic hierarchy) that downloads
faster than the text it would take to describe the same
context. If you're concise, you can even display this at
the top of each screen as a standard, repeating design
element, in which only the user's current position changes.
For example:

| Pictures | Text (U)| U = U are here! Use shading
------------------------ or an icon or graphics, plus
| Questions | E-mail | connecting arrows to clarify.

Most browsers let you figure out where you are with
considerable mental effort and lots of potential for error
by looking through the "history" list to see where you've
been. Not pleasant. There are a few variants of this...
I'll be submitting an article to Technical Communication on
this very topic towards the end of the week, Adobe
Illustrator permitting. (After all, what good would the
article be without illustrations? <grin>) Watch this space!

--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Disclaimer: If I didn't commit it in print in one of our
reports, it don't represent FERIC's opinion.

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