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.