Jen Long
Jen Long
Oct 23, 2015 · 2 min read

A bench, a public bench, oh what’s in a bench?

I found this small, public map of benches. Awesome! I can see how *THEY* structure bench data. However, it’s discovery brought up more questions than answers.

Taxonomy funs:
Now, just how should one classify benches on a map? First and foremost they are a lat / long. That is the most substantial differentiator. That is the most important thing to document. However, these benches still need to appear in a list. What would people want and need to see? Below I’ve added a few wireframes with some information hierarchies that came to mind.

I call this one “bench, bench, bench”.

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Search results wireframe. I call this one “bench, bench, bench”

This one puts the place in the primary position.

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Search results wireframe. This one makes place the primary info.

This one uses a name approach.

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A place can have a bench. A place can have many benches. A bench does not need to have a place. A bench can be associated with a place, like a residence, but not actually BE there. A bench in a park could have a gate around it. Therefore, a bench could have hours. The only thing that the bench will definitely have is a lat / long.

Benches can have names. Names can be a little love poem like “secret garden bench” or a business name like “Joe’s Pizza” that, bless them, has invested in a little bit of public space kindness. Names can be addresses or park names. Names can be obscured to protect the bench’s parents ie. “private residence”.

Interaction funs:
Then there’s the question of what happens when you tap on the bench. Do you see a bench page? Do you see the Dolores Park page with the bench info highlighted on top? I think that you should see a bench specific page. With a picture. And the map. And anything else that is relevant. Like a short description. Because, really, you’re all about the bench. The place is context but not the thing in question itself.

I would also like to start adding “vibes” and architectural notes. Like “morning spot”, “solo reading”, “wooden detailing around arm rests”, “WPA-style” etc.

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