This paper addresses the applicability of classical Human Computer Interaction (HCI) methods to design usable interfaces to geographic information and the question for a
need of specific methods taking into account the characteristics of spatial data. Based on design guidelines three prototypes of a user interface to an information platform for natural hazards were designed and evaluated in an experiment using standard usability
evaluation methods and eye movement recordings. The results show that the design solution for an interface with a balance of thematic navigation inside a tree and map-
based, spatial navigation scored best. It is therefore suggested to harness a combination of HCI methods and an independent design theory for spatial applications to develop usable geographic information interfaces.