Lecture 7a: Site Structure and Navigation

What You Will Learn Today

  1. List navigation questions users ask and provide possible answers.
  2. List and explain goals of navigation design.
  3. Select and design an appropriate web site navigation structure.
  4. Use hyperlinks and common navigation elements and pages.
  5. Logically name and structure site files and directories.
  6. Maintain the site navigation.

Navigation Questions

Where am I? Site, section, subsection, page.
Where can I go? Other pages in the site or other sites.
     How do I get there? Navigation elements on the page lead the user to other pages.
Where have I been? Visited and unvisited pages.
     How do I get back to where I was? Navigation elements and browser features return the user to a page..

Goals of Navigation Design

Navigation Structures

Linear Users follow a straight path through the pages, like a book. Previous and Next links are on each page.
Tutorial Users follow a series of lessons or tasks. Each lesson or task has a linear path.
Hierarchical A tree structure. This is the most common navigation structure, especially for large sites.
Web Each page is linked to every other page; usually used in a relatively small group of pages.
Cluster A hierarchical site with local webs within each topic area.
Catalog Users search, sort, browse, and select items from a database.

Which structure would you use for an international corporation? An educational site? An on-line shop? Web-based e-mail?

Navigation Structure Design

Where Am I?

Hypertext Links

Other Navigation Elements

Navigation Element Design

Navigation Pages

File and Directory Naming

File Location and Directory Structure

Navigation Maintenance

To Do After Class