Friday, July 17, 2009

Consistent Navigation

Most web sites are not very big, so this isn't usually an issue. Once people understand how to get around your web site, don't confuse them.
  • Use your navigation system on all your pages, with few exceptions. Exceptions should make sense and usually involve processes that follow from step to step.
  • Provide an indicator to let people know where they are in your navigation system. This can involve changing the color of the link for the current page and disabling the link for the current page.
  • For larger sites, consider using bread crums, which are a set of links for all the pages the user has visited.
When you are ready for a full web site redesign, consider keeping the navigation the same or at least similar. This reduces the amount of time for people to re-learn how to get around. Of course, if you are changing your site because nobody could find anything on it, by all means re-work the navigation!

Friday, June 19, 2009

GIS Day - November 18

This week has been a particularly good GIS week for me. I have managed to get quite a bit accomplished at my day job implementing GIS web applications and developing new resources.

One exciting bit of news was an announcement for this years Los Angeles County Annual GIS Day event which has been booked for the Civic Center Mall in downtown Los Angeles for November 18, 2009. Please mark your calendar and save the date if you are interested in GIS activies, especially as they relate to the greater Los Angeles area. There may even be ESRI representatives there.

I'll post more details as they become available.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Common English Grammar Mistakes

I love the fact that web tools offer spell check. My favorite web site development tool, Dreamweaver, has spell check for when you are creating web pages. Firefox has it too (I see that it does not like the word Dreamweaver). Many of these tools are even getting better with correcting common grammar errors too, but they can't catch everything!

One of my readers recently submitted her blog site that deals with common errors, especially homophones which many tools will not correct.

I make an effort to go back and review my work after a day or two. I hate when I find stupid errors and hope I correct them before others see them. When blogging or developing web sites, always recheck your content after a few days to make sure you have it right. Sometimes it's little things that will turn your audience away from your site.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The "F" Pattern

People on the web are in a rush to get what they want. Click they come and click they go. You have a limited amount of time and words on the screen to get your point across.

When people view a web page, they scan it for the information they want. They will scan across the top of your page reading the content. Then they will scan down and read across again. If they scan down further, they will likely scan across the page an even shorter distance.

You need to get your main information across in the first few scans! It is also helpful to use a few tricks to make sure your main point jumps out.