Experiencing the History and Cultural Heritage: The Tourist Centred Map Design of Liverpool City

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Xiaochun ZhanFang Bin Guo

Abstract: The tourist maps are geographic maps designed for tourists that indicate the narrow course of tour itineraries such as foot routes, automobile or railroad travel routes, or some combination of these. Specialised maps serve as advertisements for tourism and as a means to publicise vacation spots, sightseeing landmarks, and tourist attractions. A good specialised tour map may combine both the functions of guiding tourism and broadening tourists' horizons of regional culture and historical attractions. A usable product can assist people in decision-making process, thus, taking account of users’ requirements to create an ‘Simple Interface’ is the strategy of this map design. This paper introduces the concept of a thematic tour map design that bases on the regeneration of Liverpool Albert Dock, to reveal the scenic spots in the regenerated post-industrial zone of the city. As one of the cultural products developed in the urban regeneration project, this knowledge-oriented map design takes account of human-centred design (HCD) approach, aimed to enhance the user's interactive experience, and add commemorative value to the product. Following the theory of three levels of design: function, form, and user experience (UX). The design focuses not only on: (1) the function of the map, such as illustrating geographic/transportation information and rendering regional cultural/industrial heritage attractions, but also (2) the aesthetic styling of the product to satisfy the commemorative/collection demand of tourists; and in particular, the design emphases (3) to improve the UX through creating an ergonomic user interface (UI). Applying product semantic/semiotics principle, this tourist-centred map design has proposed to create a simple interface of the map, and with the aesthetic form of graphic presentation, thereby, to provide the users an intuitive interaction with the map that enhances the users’ experience. In this map design, the tourist information of the city was highlighted to focus on regional culture and industrial heritage presentation. The contents were categorised into geographic information and knowledge sections. The map consists of Liverpool Attractions, City Centre Map, Mersey Rail Map and Albert Dock History. Having applied the foldable concept and 3D aerial style in the map design, the product helps the users to easily carry and use. In addition, the iconic post-industrial architectures of the dock and the colour of Liverpool urban landscapes were extracted, abstracted, and applied to the map design, aimed to add commemorative value and to reflect Liverpool’s distinctive scenic spots. Having targeted both to satisfy the functional requirements of the users and to introduce necessary/relevant knowledge of the city, this knowledge-oriented thematic map design offers accurate and humanised service, so as to improve the user’s experience in travelling. This paper expects to provide designers or researchers with an example of future map design, through employing the HCD approach to create a knowledge-oriented map with an improved user experience.

Keywords: Tourist Centred Map Design, Thematic Maps, Product Semantics, Urban Regeneration, History and Cultural Heritage

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1001611

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