In this article, we'll suggest some best practices for you to consider as you build your ZoomTours. Not all of these will be applicable for every tour, so feel free to pick and choose from our suggestions.
Design Around Your Primary Objective
What is your main goal with this ZoomTour? Do you want people to visit a particular page on your website? Contact someone from your organization with a form, email address or telephone number? Book a meeting to learn more? Visit your booth or attend a presentation at a conference or trade show?
Once you've decided, ensure that the appropriate links to complete this action are clearly visible across the tour, and especially on key stops and on the final stop. If you are trying to urge the visitor to some kind of action (contact you, email you, book a meeting, visit your website, etc.), you will want those links to be crystal clear, logically placed, and easy to find.
In the image below of a final tour slide, you can see how the hyperlink is clearly placed and highlighted with a different color and underline.
Introduction - Your ZoomTour Starts Here
Your introduction to the tour offers a welcome for your visitors. Instead of starting at your first stop right away, help orient them. It's a great place to explain the theme of the tour, offer a quick overview of what they will see along the way, and include a link back to your website (which will open in a new tab, so they don't lose the tour). Although ZoomTour is very intuitive, we suggest adding a couple of lines to let them know how to advance between stops on the tour, and explain that the tabs will let them see different information along the way.
- Explain the theme of the tour
- Offer an overview of what they will see
- Provide a short explanation of how the tour works
If you'd like to include an explanation for how to use the tour, feel free to copy and past (or edit) the following:
Take the tour by clicking the left and right arrows below, clicking the tab at the bottom to select a stop, or clicking on the numbered stop circles in the map on the right. On each stop, look to the tabs at the right of this text box for additional features, such as map views, data, website links, images and video.
Consider including the following additional items in your introductory text:
- Link back to your website
- Your social media channels
- An audio file (here's how to add one)
- An image (note that your logo will already be featured at the top left)
Creating Stops That Keep Visitors Engaged
Once your tour is underway, you'll want to keep viewers engaged, communicate the important information related to your theme, and make it easy for them to get additional material, if needed.
Select Your Default Tab
At each stop, you get to choose what tab will be the default one to open first (image, link, map, Street View or Data). We suggest picking the one that is most visually appealing. Our eyes absorb information very quickly and an attention-getting image, map view or link will help us engage, as you can see in the image example below.
Tips for Your Text Description
- Take advantage of the WYSIWYG editor to add formatting, such as bold, italics, underline, font size and color
- Keep the text clear, concise and descriptive - explain what they are seeing and why it's important
- Include links to website pages and social media
- Include CTA to a Contact Us form or email, where appropriate
- Ensure all links open in a new tab (check the box when adding the link)
- Consider adding a short audio file
- Consider adding an image at the bottom
Tips for Your Tabs
- Play around with the arrows and coordinates to select the most appealing position and location for your Google Street View
- Use the data tab for links to your GIS Planning tools and/or links to websites
- Add in a variety of interesting images and videos
Do you have tips and tricks to share about your use of ZoomTour? We'd love to hear them and see examples. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.