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!