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8.Navigation

If an article is also meant to be used for reference, where a reader may want to jump to specific information, navigation becomes very important.

The main elements of navigation are:

  1. a.Menus or navigation bars.
  2. b.Search facility.

The first is the top-down approach, while the latter is bottom-up.

Top-down navigation needs to be able to be used very quickly, so that the reader doesn't get distracted from what they were trying to find. That is facilitated by making menu and navigation bar options as short as possible.

Being short enables almost subconscious reading of the options in one go, rather than sequentially reading each. To verify, think of a subtopic, and try the glimpse test. The required option should be quickly recognised.

However, the text should not be so short that it is no longer indicative of what a reader can expect to find when they click on it. Navigation is still communication, and the words should not be obscure, which means that if shortening, retain the word(s) that most people recognise, rather than what you may prefer.

A couple of quick selections from two levels of a few options each may be a lot faster than selecting from one large menu/bar. Looking at too many options at once may mean a reader will have to think too much about the differences between then all, rather than make a quick selection from a few, two times in a row.

If the site is very large, it may be worth having a dedicated search server, otherwise public search engines have options for only searching a particular domain. However, know that no public search engine provider will index all public-facing pages. You can help by ensuring that you cross-link between as many of your pages as possible, as that indicates that your site is well-integrated, and that all pages are important.

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TS: art-a 3ID: 2018-05-13-07-00-00Now: 2020-07-15-23-47-56Powered by: Smallsite Design©Patanjali SokarisManage