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Web Navigation

How to make your Web site fast and usable

 

 

W. Eugene Tiller & Phillip Green AMS Center for Advanced Technologies March 8, 1999

 

Web Navigation *

How to make your Web site fast and usable *

Three reasons for visiting a Web site *

Section 1 Web Site Structure Principles *

Structure: Lay the groundwork *

Structure: Break a large Web site into mini-sites with similar identities *

Structure: Have few verticals levels in a Web site *

Structure: Storyboards help us think clearly *

Section 2 Web Site Navigation Principles *

Navigation: People will not memorize your navigation scheme *

Navigation: People don t memorize Web site navigation *

Navigation: Vertical vs. horizontal navigation bars *

Navigation: Navigating within a page *

Navigation: Ask questions on every page in the web site *

Section 3 Web Site Links and Information Principles *

Links & Information: Push content (data) to the top of a Web site *

Links & Information: Put pivotal content at the top of the page *

Links & Information: Edit, edit, edit *

Links & Information: White space: sometimes it s good, sometimes it s not *

Links & Information: Page size guidelines *

Links & Information: Columns keep text lines short *

Links & Information: Cell coloring "chunks" information *

Links & Information: Good use of color speeds navigation *

Links & Information: Content density is good *

Links & Information: Choose scrolling over more Web pages *

Links & Information: Content links tell a story *

Links & Information: Use 7-12 words in a content link *

Links & Information: Use redundant links *

Conclusion *

Navigation is hard, navigation is easy *

APPENDIX 1 *

Screenshot of the AMSCAT research Web site
*

Notes on the AMSCAT research Web site *

APPENDIX 2 *

Comparison of CNN and MSNBC *

 

 

 

Building good navigation for our Web sites is not easy. When we started designing for the Web in 1995, our challenge was far simpler. All of us, users and Web builders, were new to surfing on the Web. We didn t expect much from our Web sites because, for the most part, they were low-cost, experimental affairs. Over almost five years, many things have changed. We do far more with our Web sites, users have higher expectations for success, and we pour significant amounts of money towards our efforts. This puts pressure on us to build Web sites with clear and usable navigation. But there are many barriers to overcome.

Today, we are awash in information. Building Web navigation is not easy. Colors can distract, shapes can misinform, and words can mislead. We need landmarks that are clear. Jarod Spool, in Web Site Usability: A Designer s Guide, talks about the scent of information. We hunt information like our ancestors hunted wildebeests. We know when we re on the scent. We know when we re getting close. A good Web site designer builds concrete clues, links to get us home.

There are three important aspects to Web navigation. The first is Web site structure: the way we build our pages can simplify or complicate our site navigation. What follows are techniques for keeping Web sites clean and focused. The study of Web site structures is the high-level, tree-top view. From this vantage point we can see all the pieces. We can spot weaknesses to our plan and adjust our pages before we commit to the work.

The second aspect of Web navigation is navigating within the site, from one page to another or from within a page. This is the heart of what people think of when we talk of navigation. Good page navigation techniques will make or break a Web site. The techniques described here are based on research that watched people find information.

The third aspect of Web navigation is the study of using links and information within the site. This is the atomic level within a Web site. Links and how we use words are the nitty-gritty of building a good site. Skipping over the details of links and how to use them, will make it harder for visitors to find information on our sites. But rigorously applying the principles of good information design will make information on our site easy to find and easy to understand.

Three reasons for visiting a Web site

People have three reasons for visiting a Web site: surfing (entertainment), finding things (news and information), and doing things (Web applications). "Real people doing real things" defines the Web today. The Web is not TV, because Web users want more than TV can give: for example, at AMS, we ve built Web sites that allow music lovers to create custom CDs. We ve built sites that allow bank customers to apply for credit cards, student loans, and mortgages over the Internet. We ve built information sites that allow citizens to access budget numbers from their State comptroller.

Our greatest achievement in building a Web site is helping a person achieve his or her goal. During our research our biggest discovery proved to be that navigation and content work best when they are wed tightly together. "It seems that you can t really separate content and navigation" says Jarod Spool, "without losing something important in the process."

Good navigation requires good technique. Our techniques are drawn from many disciplines: information design (the shaping of information), navigation design (the connecting of information), graphic design (the shaping of visual objects), and usability engineering (designing to help users reach their goals). Web navigation principles are drawn from experts like Jarod Spool, Jakob Nielsen, Roger Black, Edward Tufte, Bruce "Tog" Tognazzini, and Dan Shafer, observers on the front line who are wizards of their craft.

As technologists and consultants in the AMS Center for Advanced Technologies, we have built or consulted on more than 50 Web sites in the last two years. We ve wrestled with navigation and know the techniques that have helped AMS project teams and AMS clients.

 

SECTION 1 Web Site Structure Principles

 

Structure: Lay the groundwork

It is a luxury when designers are called into a Web project before any work has begun. More often we are called at the end of the development process or when people begin complaining about the usability of the web site. Regardless of when we are called the first step that we must take is identifying the goals of the Web site.

It is important for us to work with our clients and customers and help them identify their goals. This is an important step because unclear goals are often the root cause of usability problems. It is much like building a road with no clear destination.

Working with our clients we often find that their Web site has multiple goals. In these cases, we help the clients prioritize their goals. Once the goals of the web site have been established, prioritized and clearly expressed, we then focus on the tasks of the users.

The goals of the users are linked directly to the goals of the Web site. If the goal of the Web site is to sell products, the goal of the user is to buy products. If the goal of the web site is to provide information, the goal of the user is to consume information. Once the user goals are understood, it is much easier to build navigation that helps a user achieve their goal.

Structure: Break a large Web site into mini-sites with similar identities

Today, Web sites do everything. We can buy a car; we can follow Mark McGuire s home run chase; we can transfer funds in our stock portfolio. The best Web sites are small and focused. A Web site that has one distinct purpose is easier to understand. But, if a site tries to do too much, our visitors will be lost in complexity.

CNET, a major computer news company, uses mini-sites to segment its content. CNET has created over half a dozen smaller sites each with its own brand and identity. The mini-sites are easy to use and easy to navigate.

CNET Mini-Site

Purpose of Site

Audience

1. News.com

Technology and business news

Business people and technologists

2. CNET.com

Technology hardware and software reviews

People who purchase hardware and software

3. Builder.com

Principles and tools for Web site building

Webmasters, Web site architects

4. Shareware.com

Free and shareware software downloads

People interested in free or inexpensive software

5. Gamecenter.com

Free games and trial versions of games for download

Computer gamers

6. Snap.com

Custom news and information

People who want tailored information

Each CNET Web site has a purpose. The name of the site echoes the purpose of the site. But, to maintain the large umbrella over the CNET family of Web sites, CNET uses a distinct look and feel (see below). A yellow left-hand bar anchors the interface. A yellow bar blocks information on the right edge of the page. Together, the CNET Web sites would be unwieldy. Separately, each is manageable. Each site has a URL in the www.xxx.com configuration, so it s easy for a reader to type in the word "builder" in the URL line and hit enter [return] and the browser will look for www.builder.com. Recent versions of Netscape Navigator allow this shortcut.

Every CNET site is listed in the left-hand navigation bar, so the reader can jump from one site to another. CNET has a strong network of different brands. Since revenues depend on advertising, CNET s site unity strategy keeps its audience around longer, adding to CNET s bottom line.

Structure: Have few verticals levels in a Web site

Our AMSCAT research Web site has dozens of pages of content. We want visitors to know as much about us as they can. Our challenge is to keep our content organized. With a content-laden Web site, it is easy to build a site with too many vertical levels. With automation site management tools and HTML authoring software it is easy to add layers of information to our site without considering the consequences. For information-based sites it is better to have pages spread horizontally than to add vertical levels to our hierarchy. It is best to design the web site to have a very shallow hierarchy. If at all possible the vertical levels should be kept at two or three levels. But why is it more confusing for a user to navigate through vertical levels? A possible answer lies with evolution.

Skyscrapers are a recent invention. Our ancestors roamed coastal lowlands and valleys. We evolved on vast, African plains. Before the invention of agriculture, all humans lived in one-story huts or out in the open. We can visualize movement and direction well on a flat plain. We don t move well in vertical spaces. Try this exercise: give two people a set of verbal directions. Give the first a series of turns around the same floor of a building a few lefts, a few rights. Give the second a few lefts, a few rights, and throw in an up-one-floor, down-one-floor. The first person will likely find their way. The second will find it difficult to get to their destination.

As for the AMSCAT research Web site we worked hard to limit vertical levels. Though the site has over thirty HTML pages, the site is compressed into two levels. Here s how it works: the site starts on either one of two pages AMSCAT Activities or AMSCAT Research. On these two pages (level 1) there are introductions to five main areas and links to every page on the site. Level 2 holds the remaining pages.

 

Structure: Storyboards help us think clearly

Architects use blueprints to codify their work. The client, the design team, and the builder are working from the same blue sheet. Storyboards are to Web builders what blueprints are to architects. Storyboards capture our thinking, and can be hand drawn or computer simulations of the interface.

Using storyboards help sharpen our thinking and highlight interface problems before we begin building our site. It is much cheaper to remove mistakes at this stage than later in development.

The reason storyboards are effective, is that navigation is hard to picture. Storyboards put our thinking on paper and help us connect information in a logical way. So if we think clearly up front, honing our information, we can create twice: once on paper, and once in development. The building phase of a Web site is no time to be re-doing the blueprints on the fly.

 

SECTION 2 Web Site Navigation Principles

Navigation: People will not memorize your navigation scheme

"At IBM and at Sun, we studied how people read on the Web. What we discovered is they don t! They scan," says Jakob Nielsen, a former Sun Microsystems distinguished engineer. So don t assume people are reading logical steps within the navigation. They are scanning the page for buzzwords, for words and phrases they know. Nielsen discovered only 16% of Web visitors read word by word.

If you have all your information hooks on one page, people will find what they want. By scanning and scrolling Web audiences sniff out the information they need. People keep searching until they find what they want or until they lose the scent of information. If the journey takes too long, people will leave and try to find the information elsewhere.

Another reason for putting lots of detail on one page is that the mind is not good at comparing facts across many pages. It is annoying and frustrating to compare information over time, separated onto more than one page. But if I can see everything at once, I can compare. I can go down path X because I see that path Y is clearly the wrong way. Emulate the Wall Street Journal; its financial pages are packed with data. All information about a company fits across one page.

Navigation: People don't memorize Web site navigation

For years, Web designers have built complex navigation. Some navigation schemes are elaborate, designed to finesse visitors into one corner or another of a Web site. But, users don t pay careful attention to our schemes and will not learn the logic of our navigation. And if our navigation is too subtle, our visitors will be lost. As we ve said, people don t read and they pay little attention to the detail on a page. People want the right information hooks that bring them to the right piece of content.

Does this mean our navigation should be designed without logic? The answer is no for one major reason: a percentage of our visitors will be regulars, people who use our site daily. A regular visitor will have time to learn our interface. But there is no need to build an elaborate structure. Again, the measure of success is whether a user finds what she s looking for. As well, a simple navigation design works better and is less expensive to build and maintain.

CNET s Snap.com has a simple HTML navigation at the top of the page. Sine it s only 12K, the page loads fast. Content links fill most of the page and reveal the information hierarchy of the site, making it easier for visitors to find what they want. Like Yahoo, Snap.com allows its audience to reach dozens of pages on the site right on the home page.

If you could build a Web site on one page, that would be ideal. There would be no need to go elsewhere, since everything would be in one place. But, most of the time, this isn t feasible. Instead build a site with fewer pages and vertical levels, making the site compact and easy to navigate.

Navigation: Vertical vs. horizontal navigation bars

Theologians argue about the number of angels that can fit on the head of a pin. Web developers argue whether navigation bars should be vertical or horizontal, on the left side of the page or on the right.

The answer is there is no right answer. Since we said that visitors will not memorize our navigation scheme, a user will forget the path to the information she wants from one visit to the next. For the regular, daily visitor, it s important to build navigation that is consistent throughout the site and makes sense in a logical way.

But, most users visit infrequently. Just remember that Web users scan, looking for buzzwords. If those words are in your navigation area or in your main column of text, a user will find it. Where you place your navigation bar is secondary.

Aesthetically, if you want your design to stand out from other sites, don t put a bar on the left side of the page. But most visitors won t notice. If a user wants to move stock from one mutual fund to another on the E-Trade.com Web site, the success of his or her action is what counts.

Navigation: Navigating within a page

Vertical scrolling on a Web page is not something to avoid. Users accept scrolling and will scroll to find what they want. Scrolling is a trade-off: if we make pages small to fit small (640 x 480) monitors, we have to add more pages to our site, increasing the complexity of the navigation. It s better to have more scrolling but fewer pages.

But to help users navigate through a page, we recommend navigation anchors that help visitors jump to a sub-title or section within a page. CNN uses this technique for some of its longer stories. At the end of the paragraphs related to a sub-title, CNN uses a "jump to top" link to return the user to the top of the page.

When a user clicks on a page link using Internet Explorer on Windows 98, the movement after the click indicates that the user is being moved down the page. This improves the likelihood that the user stills knows where he is, once he s been pushed down the same page.

Navigation: Ask questions on every page in the web site

Who am I? Web site identity tells who we are. Our logos and our brands speak our name, our personality. When a visitor comes to our site, she is looking for our logo, the distinctive mark that tells her she is in the right place. To help navigate a large site, global logos and product-specific logos can bring order to chaos. A brand offers a sense of place, a home of sorts, where a visitor can trust that what she reads is from an organization she trusts.

Place your logo on the same spot on every page. Logos work best when used in the upper left or right of the page so that they will be in plain view when the page is loaded. Logos should be sized large enough to be readable and be a visual anchor on the page, but small enough to download fast.

Where am I? How did I get here? How do I get back? Providing the user with landmarks to help orient them to their location within the Web site is extremely important. Use the visual characteristics of the navigation controls to help you. Web designers should use visual clues to indicate both a Web pages position and Web site structure.

 

Section 3 Web Site Links and Information Principles

 

Links & Information: Push content (data) to the top of a Web site

"The 1990s computer screen has a resolution approximately 5% to 10% of a printed map," writes Edward Tufte in Envisioning Information. Tufte argues that a computer monitor resolution is so low that we must fill our pages with as much information density as possible. If we don t, visitors to our Web sites will have to click through a maze of pages to reach the content they want. The more pages our site has, the greater the chance we lose our audience. Therefore, push content (data) to the top of a Web site. Push content to the top of a Web page. Don t fill a page with navigation labels that are content free. Use "Fill out a mortgage application in 10 minutes" not "Mortgage Application." The more information we can build into our navigation, the more transparent our content becomes.

Links & Information: Put pivotal content at the top of the page

Though a visitor will scroll, put your pivotal content at the top of the page. You have mere seconds before he or she moves on, so why take chances? To keep visitors on your site, grab them with the big hooks first.

Look at Amazon.com. The first page is packed with short, catchy messages. Though the Amazon audiences are readers, its customers vary. People want fiction or non-fiction; books for children or gifts for grandma; Oprah Winfrey books or Bill Gates books. Visitors to Amazon are diverse: readers, authors, publishers, agents, investors, media, and surfers. To grab the many and keep them, Amazon puts the big carrots at the top: the search engine, best sellers, the gift center, the hot book of the week ("What We re Reading"), and the latest Oprah book.

Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, has thought hard about his business. He and his staff push new technologies and techniques, never allowing the site to remain static for long. Recently, when Amazon added the sales rank for each of its 1,000,000 best sellers authors, publishers, and readers latched onto the data as a way to value a book in real-time. The top 100 books are updated hourly. The rest are changed on a weekly basis. The sales number is at the top of the page of the book it refers to. Interactive data makes Amazon s Web site more valuable to its customers, giving them incentives to return.

 

Links & Information: Edit, edit, edit

First drafts and prototypes are full of clutter. We articulate in 14 words what we can say in 7. Instead, focus on cutting unneeded words. Putting up an HTML page is so easy, Web sites can drag with the weight of too many pages and words. If we can cut content by 50%, we can simplify navigation, and our visitors will notice the difference.

If you don t have a bona fide editor nearby, read William Zinsser s book, "On Writing Well." Read the first 92 pages to find the tools to keep your words clean. Wordy words and garbage words keep the reader from finding what he wants. Editing is hard work and good editors are hard to find, which is why many sites are overburdened with verbage. But crisp, clear messages make our Web sites appealing and easier to use.

Links & Information: White space: sometimes it s good, sometimes it s not

Debates rage about white space. Previously, we ve advocated white space for information-based Web sites. In print, white space makes sense, working with the text and pictures to direct the eyes. But on a Web page, white space slows a user s access to information. The fewer words on the page, means more pages across the site. Jarod Spool observed that the more white space a page has, the less successful a user becomes in finding information.

White space is good if you are building a marketing Web site, a place where you want people to slow down and take their time. But, if you want your audience to get the information they want, pack your pages with content. Make every page download count. The more information value you add to a page the better your site will be.

Links & Information: Page size guidelines

Big servers and a speedy Internet make downloads fast, but small HTML pages help, too. Until bandwidth is hundreds of times faster, we can t afford graphic-heavy Web pages.

Keep your pages between 10 and 50K. To achieve fast pages, use few GIFs and JPEGs, and use HTML for navigation. Driven by the limitations of bandwidth, the new design ethic is minimalism.

The AMSCAT research Web site averages 17K per page. Though most pages have a photograph or two, the site has only two basic GIFs per page: The AMS logo (with the AMS global navigation bar) and the AMSCAT star. Everything else the navigation, cell background color, and headers is in HTML. A 17K page loads in 3-5 seconds on a 56K modem.

Page download times in seconds*

Modem Speed

10 K page

20 K page

30 K page

50 K page

56 K

2-3 seconds

4-6 seconds

6-9 seconds

10-15 seconds

28.8 K

3-5 seconds

6-10 seconds

9-15 seconds

15-25 seconds

14.4 K

6-10 seconds

12-20 seconds

18-30 seconds

30-50 seconds

* Telephone line conditions vary based on the quality of copper phone wires.

56K modems are less than twice as fast as 28.8K modems due to telephone line limitations.

Links & Information: Columns keep text lines short

Newspapers use columns for readability, and Web sites should, too. Long lines are hard to follow, and can cause eye fatigue. Text flows better when it s broken into shorter lengths. Your words will be more energetic. Short lines combined with short words create energy.

Multiple columns allow more content to start at or near the top of a page. Most of us have more than one agenda on a Web page. We want to show our identity (logo), we want to use space for navigation, and we have messages for our visitors. If you can put numerous messages on the first viewable page (590 x 325 pixels), a viewer will click or scroll for more. Take a look at the New York Times Web site (NYTimes.com). The Times separates news stories clearly, yet its columns give the reader many stories to choose from.

 

Links & Information: Cell coloring "chunks" information

The browsers, Navigator 3 and IE 3 and above, can read table cell background colors. Cell coloring is a powerful tool for "chunking" information. Cell color separates information: the reader scans, seeing immediately each information area. CNET s News.com site uses light yellow cell coloring to highlight news headlines (right column). When a company is mentioned in a News.com article, that company s stock quote is enclosed in a light gray box (embedded in the main column of text).

The AMSCAT research Web site uses cell coloring to separate navigation from the main body of text. In the left column the search functions are isolated from the section navigation by cell coloring (See appendix 1).

There is a danger to cell coloring: misuse of color can make text unreadable and the page unusable. We recommend 4 colors for cell coloring: light blue, light green, light yellow, and light gray. Our knowledge of color is based on biology. Blue and green are the colors of nature; we perceive blue and green as peripheral colors, soothing to the eyes. Green is a calming color and is often used in the waiting rooms of physicians and dentists. Yellow is bright but low density, contrasting well with black text. Gray is a neutral color, that as decorators know, goes with everything. Use light versions of blue, green, yellow, and gray to make text exceptionally readable (see the color table below).

Color

RGB values

HTML color hex

Lab Color

HSB values

Light yellow

255, 255, 204

#FFFFCC

99, -5, 19

60, 20, 100

Light green

204, 255, 204

#CCFFCC

96, -19, 15

120, 20, 100

Light blue

204, 255, 255

#CCFFFF

97, -13, -5

180, 20, 100

Light gray

204, 204, 204

#CCCCCC

85, 0, 0

0, 0, 80

 

Links & Information: Good use of color speeds navigation

Good color design makes an interface a delight to use. Overuse or misuse of color can slow or frustrate a user s attempt to find information. The best Web sites use color sparingly. Use color for photographs and logos, in cell backgrounds to separate information (see above), and occasionally for page layout elements and contextual icons.

Amazon.com uses a simple green and orange color scheme for cell coloring and navigation bars. When needed, small icons and photographs are added to augment the information. Blue hyper links are the only other color areas within the interface.

Links & Information: Content density is good

Bandwidth is scarce and screen real estate is expensive. Work hard to fill every inch of the page. Since visitors don t mind scrolling, a home page will work best if it can link to every page on a site (or one page away from every page on a site). A user benefits because he is only one click away from what he wants whether its reaching his on-line bill or finding the stock quote of his favorite company.

But, a dense page is hard to control. Columns can cascade into each other, and a page can dissolve into clutter. We recommend using good design techniques to keep the information readable and usable. Use graphic design techniques of alignment, balance, and spacing. Aligning items keeps the page organized. Balance is created by using text and pictures together to create interest. Spacing includes the gap between words, between lines of words and around the edges of paragraphs and pictures. To apply these principles well, use an interface designer to build a page that s dense, but appealing.

Links & Information: Choose scrolling over more Web pages

One mantra says that Web pages should be limited to what s viewable, similar to the TV model. But, TV is a fast, fluid video medium, where there are no delays. People watch TV for entertainment, not to access information. The Web is more like a National Geographic map. The reader scans the map and side paragraphs for tidbits of information. If one part of the map doesn t have it, she scans until she finds what she wants. Web sites are the same: to reduce frustration put more on a page and reduce the number of pages in the site: the fewer the pages, the easier the navigation becomes. A user will scan and click, following the scent of information through to its final destination.

CNN s home page is a superb example of offering hundreds of access points on a page. There are content links throughout the page. A reader is left with the impression that she can reach any topic on the site in one click.

Compare CNN s home page with MSNBC (see appendix 2). The MSNBC home page is attractive, but there are less than 30 click-able items on the page. Only half of the links are content links. It takes many more clicks for a reader to reach the subject she wants. It s not that MSNBC s site is a poor design. But the layout of the information would be more appropriate for a marketing brochure, where elegance is an advantage. MSNBC claims to be a news information site, yet there are few hooks to grab the reader and pull her in.

Links & Information: Content links tell a story

First generation Web sites had category links that led to other category links. When we built Web sites in 1995, we rarely signaled to the user where he was going. Our visitors wandered, had to back track, and more often than not didn t find what they came for.

Today, we give people links that spell out what the visitor will see when he clicks. On the AMSCAT Research Web site, wherever we have links we include a second line of information, an extra piece to add to the link that explains the link. Content links limit the number of visitors going the wrong way.

When do we use content links or category links? If a category is obvious, with no possible hint of confusion, use a category link. Otherwise, use content links to direct your visitor to what he wants. Build links that spell out what he will see when he clicks.

Links & Information: Use 7-12 words in a content link

Jarod Spool wrote "Web Site Usability" based on his research watching users find information. He studied how links were helpful and gathered data observing how successful a user was in finding a pre-determined piece of information. Spool discovered that 7-12 words in a content link is the ideal for helping users be successful in hunting information. Links of 7-12 words are long enough to explain where users will go when they click, but short enough to be simple and clear.

In the AMSCAT Research Web site (see above) we use 2-4 word titles with 3-7 word sub-titles. By following Spool s recommendation, it is easier to scan the second level hierarchy for the right piece of information.

Links & Information: Use redundant links

Every organization creates its own mental boxes. At AMS we have our own lingo and terms for types of information. Since people come to information in many ways, it would be inflexible to phrase information merely one way. There are dozens of ways to say the same thing. For example, think of all the words and acronyms for the process of improving business performance: business process improvement, BPR, Achieving Breakthrough Performance (ABP), Customer Value Management (CVM), Total Quality Management (TQM), First Things First (Stephen Covey), AMS Best Practices. These are just some of the terms to describe improving our business success. By thinking of all the ways to describe information, we can build content links that approach a subject by different means. If we offer 2 or 3 variations, more users will find what they want. All of us relate to what we know. By not assuming what people know, we can expand our information to meet the needs of people who come from a different perspective. Our audience will appreciate our effort to speak to them where they are.

 

 

Conclusion

Navigation is hard, navigation is easy

Navigation is hard: we have too much information, and too little time. But if we do clear thinking at the start, if we edit our material, if we use more scrolling and have fewer pages, if we choose content links over category links, if we think of more than one way to label our information our guests will return. Making a fast, usable Web site brings people and goals together. A fast, usable site is valuable. A site that is useful, and that gets the job done is a good site. We can be proud of that.

 

Appendix 1

Screenshot of the AMSCAT research Web site

 

Notes on the AMSCAT research Web site

The ability to search is on every page (See IBM.com) at the top of the left green bar. Visitors can search just the AMSCAT Web pages or all of AMS s Web site.

The right yellow bar includes the five points of the AMSCAT AMSCAT Research Pentagon. The Research links are in blue except for the current page, which is in black to indicate place. (See News.com for the use of this navigation technique.)

At the end of the main center column of text, there is a copyright notice and a "Jump to top" link to return visitors to the top of the page. (See Forbes.com)

The site title appears at the top of every page. A small star is in the right top corner, keeping the visual metaphor.

Major sections within the AMSCAT pages are listed below the Search area in the left green column. (See AMSinc.com or News.com)

Links to "Within this page" are in a table in the center column. These link to sub-titles within the page. (See CNN.com)

Pull-out quotes are used to draw the visitor down the page and highlight the most important message on the page. As well, links within the green bar can be added for access to video segments, publications, and demos.

Appendix 2

Comparison of CNN and MSNBC

 

 

 

 


"Web Navigation : How to make your Web site fast and usable"
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