Interface Design


Navigation is an extremely important concept in interface design. Even the greatest online treasure if of no worth if it is as difficult to locate as the rainbow's proverbial pot of gold. Once at the site, it is important to give the user a sense of what is available, how to get to it and where the has been. The principles of navigation are outlined on these pages.

Navigation should give the user a clear picture that says, "YOU ARE HERE!" This is accomplished in several methods that are discussed below:

Name   Every page needs a name. The name of the site needs to be placed prominently in the upper left hand corner of the page. Since the site name should appear on every page, a common practice is to make it a link to the home page.
Navigation Tools   Navigation tools are items that assist your user to get where they need to go and lets them know in an instant where they are. Navigation tools are discussed in more detail elsewhere (see the "Navigation Tools " link above or simply click on the one in the quotes).
Site Map   Your user will arrive at your web site for a specific purpose. It is important that the user be able to ascertain if the required item or information is located on your site and to quickly figure out how your site is built. A site map can serve as a pseudo table of contents and as a reference of how how your site is built.
Rev 20-Sep-2004
John Rivoire