Monday, July 31, 2006

Using Guides as a Supplemental Navigation Technique

On navigation techniques...

"Supplemental navigation techniques provide an alternative, complementary or adjunct view to seeking out information on large websites and intranets. This article describes when and how to use one such technique – the ‘guide’.
Why supplemental navigation?
Supplemental navigation techniques, by definition, enhance the primary navigation structure. They, however, are most beneficial when used on large websites and intranets.

The most commonly used supplemental techniques are sitemaps and indexes. (See Sitemaps and Site Indexes: What They Are and Why You Should Have Them.)

There’s a misconception that supplemental navigation techniques are a Band-Aid solution to a lagging primary navigation structure. While that may be true in some cases (in fact, even then, they should be treated with respect for doing so), it should not cast a shadow on the benefits they bring on their own.

There are two desirable benefits that supplemental navigation brings to large websites and intranets: orientation and access.

Orientation: they help people in orienting themselves to content and tasks found on the website (for new comers)
Access: they help people find shortcuts to useful information on the website (for both new comers and old timers)"   (Continued via pebbleRoad)       [Usability Resources]


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