Saturday, August 12, 2006

Where Am I?

Good advice on website navigation ...

"It seems strange to be talking about something as basic as “navigation” 11 years into the web era. And yet, if you’re a web designer, chances are you’ve made some mistakes in this fundamental area. I know I have. So let’s go back to basics.

On a website, “navigation” doesn’t mean just links. Navigation is, like most elements of a website, about communicating with the user. Good navigation tells a story, and good stories have a beginning, middle, and end.

Navigation also has three parts, which are used to communicate to the user about their past, present, and future. Any good global navigation scheme should, at a glance, answer the top three questions every user has at the back of their mind on any page:

Where am I? (Present)
Where can I go? (Future)
Where have I been? (Past)

Here’s a test: Go to any random page on the internet. A deep page, not a home page. Then see if you can answer all three of those questions without looking at the URL or mousing over links to see where they go. See if you can tell your present, future, and past purely through visuals. Even in our brave new Web 2.0 world, most sites fail."   (Continued via A List Apart)                                                 [Usability~Resources]

Navigation Graveyard - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

Navigation Graveyard


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