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  Web Fix My Pages - Please! Web Site Navigation Horrors

Banish Broken Web Sites from the internet

Web Site Navigation Horrors


Broken navigation will prevent people from finding information on your site. Navigation is fixed by correcting links and removing browser dependency.


There is nothing more frustrating than inconsistent navigation. Some sites move the navigation around from page to page or rearrange the order of the links. Consistent navigation is done by putting the navigation in the same place and putting it in the same order on all pages.


People get confused about your navigation when you use the same visual identifiers to mean more than one thing.

Most people expect that underlined text means that it is a link. If you have underlined text that is not a link, this is not a link, then people have to move their mouse around to find out what is and what is not a link. Make it easy for people: underlined text should always be a link.

Hiding links is another frequent way you can confuse people. Here is an example of a hidden link. Move your mouse over the word 'example' in the previous sentence. That word does not look like a link. The link goes to this section.

Many sites send mixed signals to people. They use the same visual clues for links and non-links.

Sometimes a site gets fancy with the display of links and non-links.

People must move their mouse around the page looking for the real links. That frustrates people.

There is no navigation!

There is always the Back button. That is not enough for your web site. Navigation is added by determiming about 5 to 7 major topic areas of your site.

The areas are prioritized by figuring out which areas people are most likely to go. Many sites put the About section at the top of their navigation. The truth is, most people do not care about you. The About section is one of the last places people visit.

A series of links may be display horizontally or vertically. Several navigation schemes can be used together.

People get lost

People get lost because they do not know where they are. A site map is a good addition for many sites. If you have navigation for a big store, there is no reason to show links to lawn mowers when the person is looking for coffee makers. Navigation should be made simple.

Takes too long to load

Long load times will deter many people. Long navigation bars with roll overs can require many graphics. This is not good. Fast loading navigation has fewer or smaller graphics.

Some people can not see it

An invisible navigation is not good. It is usually caused when people disable their JavaScript, Java or Flash. You have no control over the person visiting your site. You must make sure your navigation works when JavaScript, Java or Flash are not available.


Books from Amazon
HTML for the World Wide Web
HTML for the World Wide Web
by Elizabeth Castro
Don't Make Me Think
Don't Make Me Think
by Steve Krug
Designing with Web Standards
Designing with Web Standards
by Jeffrey Zeldman

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P. O. Box 2581
Hemet, CA USA 92546
No more Broken Pages!
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