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Creating your own custom design to display Itineraries can create a rich and rewarding user experience and integration within your application or website.
The following guide is provided to assist in the design process by providing a list of requirements to consider in presenting your custom design. By no ways is this a comprehensive list, and you will ultimately have your own considerations of needs for your use case, but we aim to help consider some of the functionality that content teams leverage in creating compelling designed trips, trails and lists.
The alpaca platform allows content to be attached to a number of elements appearing within an itinerary. This can include the itinerary itself, as well as elements such as the locations appearing within the itinerary.
Basic content for elements include:
Users that place in content against a description could express formatting including;
Your design should anticipate how your heading hierarchy will work. We recommend
you consider the additional hierarchy of the associated
separate to the
h3 formatting variants.
While the description field can be used for
Itineraries can contain a number of additional information you will want to allow for presenting. Some common elements you may need to consider displaying include:
|Area/Region||The area or reference to region where the itinerary goes.|
|Itinerary Type||A short classification of the itinerary, such as Weekend Escape|
|Durations||A recommended duration (possibly a range )|
In addition, depending on the activity, you could consider also displaying additional information based on the activity or type:
|Trail Name||A reference to the trail if advertised or signed|
|Distance / Distances||Outline the distance of the activity, often required if a physical activities|
|Elevations||Consider the Elevation gain/loss and any minimum/maximum altitudes if relevant for the activity|
|Terrain||Consider describing the terrain and obstacles|
|Difficulty Requirements||Present the difficulty or fitness requirements required|
|Route Type||Consider the requirements logistically around the route; return, open leg, back over path, etc|
The content team are prompted to fill in a wide range of fields in order to complete their content to a high standard. You should consider how you display this content within your platform. An approach may be to introduce a number of sections that can expand in your design, allowing for field sections to have a place to be displayed in your design.
A number of photos can be uploaded by content creators to help showcase itineraries and locations.
In addition to the photo media that is uploaded, you should provide a design that allows for the content team to attach vital information along with the photo, including:
The enhanced statistics statistics element allows content teams to inject creativity into their content through highlighting some key representations of stats and data.
The content elements allows teams to;
We've seen some excellent use cases, such as highlighting the number of wines tasted, caves explored, and more. These provide content creators flexibility and creative license.
Examples of how this might be used include;
Users also can create structured highlights. These highlights should be displayed creatively to highlight unique experiences from the itinerary. This technique can help strengthen the thematic appeal and communicate key experiences within an itinerary.
Ultimately, the itinerary presents information to the user around a list. The itinerary will contain a sequence of various types of content to communicate the itinerary to the user.
Designing the way content is listed in an itinerary is a key design challenge.
When getting started, the immediate considerations should be around what type of list you are presenting:
Typically, you should consider the hierarchy of your list around common content structuring patterns;
List of venues, possibly ordered or un-ordered
Places with optional venues at each location
Possible Optional Activities
When displaying locations on the itinerary within a list, it is important to consider the story being told. You may need to consider differences in your presentation such as:
A typical location card should consider as a minimum;
Lists can also feature optional stops. These stops are different than your standard presented locations as they can be an optional activity to do along the way if time permits. This can create hierarchy that may look similar
Segments form a mechanism to 'filter' down the current listed content into discrete sections. This could take a list of 50 different types of places, and then allow the user to pull out all the places to eat, or other segments such as parts of a trail.
Collections provide a mechanism to structure your list under a parent called 'collections'.
An important consideration when thinking about an itinerary is the start and end location. Typically, an itinerary may suggest a road trip from a gateway town or city to explore a region.
When presenting an itinerary to a user, it is important to recognise that the gateway location may not be the location the user is departing from and is instead used to help guide users around typical driving times from locations.
A consideration in how to present this information may mean that you intend to design the display of the first and last locations differently. It can be difficult for your content team to produce information around start and end-locations when they are instead suggested start locations.
How you present locations is a primary consideration.
Place providers can provide a lot of information for you to include in your itinerary. Depending on the focus of narrative and storytelling, such as when showcasing trips, it is important to create separation between place descriptions that are typically generic broad information, and the narrative that may speak directly to the audience of the itinerary. A simple curated list though may be able to avoid the narrative, and simply be presenting a place amongst options for the user to consider.
Generally speaking, place information commonly includes:
Other key information will include;
Consider the call to action buttons that help users with their trip planning or in-destination experience.
For each location, there is potentially an opportunity to display information about arriving or departing from this location. If your content team has created alternative transportation options for moving between locations, they may want to show more than one arrival or departure transport option.
Alpaca offer an existing designed map style. This design style can be leveraged or customised by our users in order to display itinerary content.
An element often excluded from design is the allowance for various map controls that need to be placed on designs;
Mapping clients require the display of attribution, such as a watermark and a copyright notification. By designing your own user interface, it is important to comply with the licensing requirements of the data.
Typically the minimum will include:
Additionally, your development team may need to display attribution for other content sources, such as Strava.