I had a good laugh the other day while researching this topic when I read that websites should be designed so even your grandmother or grandfather can find their way through it. I laughed since I am a grandfather which indicates that the site must be REALLY easy to navigate. – LOL.
What caused me to focus on this subject came from working on a particular website. Like most websites, it started with only a few pages and was easy to navigate. And like most websites, it grew and became more complex which complicated the site navigation.
The original site navigation pattern was a circular pattern where the reader would follow the links from one page to the next until he/she arrived back at the starting page. This works fine as long as there is never a break. However, we all know that during surfing, you have to get up and tend to something or you go off on a tangent to another page. When you return, it is sometimes difficult to determine exactly where you were. If the reader has to follow several page links back to the continuation point, frustration sets in and "click" the reader is gone.
To solve this site navigation problem, a navigation bar was added to the pages on the website.
A navigation bar ("nav bar"), is the basic tool for site navigation. Navigation bars are usually some form of java script. They are text, buttons, or boxes usually placed on the top or left side of every page. This allows the reader to quickly link to the main pages of the site. A feature that is usually incorporated in the nav bar is the nav bar entry for the current page is indicated by a change of color or appearance to show where you are currently located in the site.
Some HTML editors will build your navigation bar for you.When you build a page, you specify if you want the page included on the nav bar and if you want a nav bar on the page.
The best web host builds your nav bar for you. When you create a web page, you are given options if you want the page listed in the nav bar and if so, what the text on the nav bar should say.
As an aside … if you have a landing page on your site where you want the reader to take only one action (click to buy or click to subscribe), do not put any external links or a nav bar on that page. You do not want to give the reader a means of escape except to close the window.
If you include the nav bar on each content page, it gives the reader a uniform way to get from the current page to any other main page with one click which is desirable. A theory of site navigation says a reader should be no more than two clicks from any other page.
In summary, always consider how your reader will navigate your site. If navigation is easy, your reader will dig deeper and deeper into your site. If navigation is confusing or difficult, your reader will click away from your site and will not return. Work to make that navigation easy and keep your readers happy. Especially for grandmothers and grandfathers!
Posted from http://www.smartads.info/