Chapter 6. Navigation and Information Architecture

172 Am I There Yet?

173 Match the Site Structure to User Expectations

  • Recommended Reading About IA

  • Intranet IA

178 Navigation: Be Consistent

184 Navigation: Beware the Coolness Factor

  • Kids Like Minesweeping

  • Don't Be Duped by Duplicates

189 Reduce Clutter and Avoid Redundancy

192 Links and Label Names: Be Specific

202 Vertical Dropdown Menus: Short Is Sweet

202 Multilevel Menus: Less Is More

205 Can I Click on It?

  • Affordances

210 Direct Access from the Homepage

  • More Information

Chaotic design leads to dead ends and wasted effort. Hastily thrown-up Web sites without effective information schemes prevent users from getting to the information they seek. When this happens, they may give up or, even worse, go to a different site.

A well-structured site gives users what they want when they want it. In this chapter we look at some of the most common design obstacles that stand between users and their goalsand provide guidelines on how to avoid them.

Over and over again, the people in our studies struggled to get information they wanted, cursing and complaining along the way. In fact, difficulty finding what they were looking for was the biggest problem for our users. Although Search was the single most problematic design issue, four other areas that we collectively call "findability" caused even more difficulties.

These fournavigation and menus; category names; links; and information architecture (IA), which is how the information space is structureddetermine how easy it is to find things by clicking around a site, as opposed to going directly through Search. (Many people consider "category names" to be a subsidiary issue of "information architecture" because structuring and naming often go hand in hand. But because they involve different kinds of design decisions, we feel it's worth considering them as separate issues.)

Prioritizing Web Usability
Prioritizing Web Usability
ISBN: 0321350316
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 107

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