Notes on Chapter 6

Summary: This chapter was about web navigation. How users navigate the web and what designers can do to improve the process of navigation.


Persistent Navigation: Keeping much of the navigation the same from page to page on a web site
Breadcrumbs: "show you the path from the Home page to where you are and make it easy to move back up to higher levels in the hierarachy of a site" (Krug 79)

3 Purposes of Navigation

  1. Helps user find what s/he is looking for
  2. Helps user know what's on the site
  3. Helps user know how to use the site
  4. Helps user feel confident about choosing that site
There are two types of users: search-dominant (askers) and link-dominant (browsers)

Browser ProblemsHelp a Browser Out
1. no sense of scale1. Use persistent navigation
2. no sense of direction2. Use page names
3. no sense of location3. Use "You Are Here" communicators
4. Use "Breadcrumbs"
5. Use Tabs
More on This-
1. Persistent Navigation should include:
  • Site ID
  • Section (links to main sections)
  • Utilities (links to important elements)
  • Search Tool
2. Page Names should be:
  • On every page
  • Large enough to be easily seen
  • Placed in the right spot
  • Matched to the thing the user previously clicked
3. "You Are Here" Indicators can be identified through:
  • highlighted areas
  • a pointer
  • different text color
  • bold text
  • changing the button
4. If using "Breadcrumbs", try this:
  • put them at the top of the page
  • use the greater than character (>) to change levels
  • Boldface the current page name
5. Why Tabs are good:
  • obviously clickable
  • noticeable (should "pop" out at a user)
  • visually interesting
  • useful

A Quick Usability Checklist

6 things you should be able to identify quickly and easily on any site
  1. Site ID
  2. Page Name
  3. Sections
  4. Local Navigation
  5. "You Are Here" indicator
  6. Search

Questions, Reflections and Personal Applications
People often compare and contrast internet research with library research. The library browser doesn't have the same problems as the internet browser. The library browser can walk in, find the section of books they are looking for and have a pretty good idea of how much material is available on the topic they are researching. They will most likely stay in the same section of the library. However, navigating a library can be a similar experience to navigating a web page.
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