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!

4 comments:

quillcards said...

Can you navigate around Quillcards OK?

I would be interested in any feedback on problems you have navigating the site.

I read Steve Krug's book 'Don't Make Me Think' several times and I used site usability tests like 5secondtest.com

David said...

@quillcard

Two comments regarding your navigation.

1) on your home page, do not show the home link (like you are doing) but do leave the space for it. That will keep your other links from shifting right.

2) Move the blog link off the main navigation since it is not part of your actual site. Or better integrate the blog into your site by adding the full nav bar to the blog.

quillcards said...

Thank you. The blog is on a page of the main site, so I looked at your answer from a slightly different perspective and added a full set of tabs to the blog page.

Many, many thanks for the insight.

The Muse said...

superb info.
clear and precise :)