17 April 2011

Web Navigation - THINK First

Most web navigation is a set of compromises of many different flavours. The days of simple Nav have long since gone. Our products and services - especially in Travel - are very complex. Compound this with the fact that most Travel products are dynamic in nature.

As a result we have crapola Nav on so many websites.

However that is no excuse for not trying to do a better job of getting it right.

Gerry McGovern's post
this week tackles the poor state of web navigation and gives some perspective.

In my view two sites that do a reasonable job are BBC and Amazon. However despite the attempts - I still find both maddeningly complex and really lacking in context.

In many cases because I don't trust the Nav to do a good job I frequently re-trace my steps and go down paths from the top of the tree rather than expecting to use the links to cross to other pages deep along the branches. So in my view if you are not able to do a good job - then have structured and consistent Nav. having explained this a squillion times to web designers here are my rules for Navigation.

Fixed Nav MUST NOT CHANGE and sits on the Nav bar - or LHS/RHS Nav metaphor you are using. Ditto the stuff on the bottom and on the Site Map.

For Dynamic Nav - do this via links on the respective pages.


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