10 Principles of Navigation Design

10 Principles of Navigation Design

By Julia Salem

April 2, 2012

“If content is the heart of every website publication, then navigation is its brain and a fundamental pillar of information architecture design.” Here are 10 Principles of Navigation Design to help you improve your IA Design.

1. Design for the reader—Avoid designing simply for the site to look good or from the point of view of the organization.

2. Provide a variety of navigation options—Some readers like to navigate geographically, others by subject matter, and some want to read similar documents to ones they have just read.

3. Let readers know where they are—Let them know what page of the website they are on by having prominent titles for every page and show a link describing the page if part of the navigation is graphical.

4. Let readers know where they’ve been—To do this: keep as much navigation as possible in hypertext and use blue for unclicked links and purple for clicked links.

5. Let readers know where they are going—Inform user in advance if you intend for them to go to a non-HTML page and open a new browser only when there is a compelling reason.

6. Provide context—Make sure you properly classify content, allow for a variety of product/selection and use related navigation at the end of a document.

7. Be Consistent—Classify items consistently and keep the graphical navigation consistent.

8. Follow Web Convention—Don’t avoid traditional site conventions, users are used to consistent design across different websites.

9. Don’t surprise or mislead the reader—Make sure to only ask the user to do things that are possible for them to do on your site.

10. Provide the reader with support and feedback—The user should always be one click away from being able to contact the organization for help on your website.

Source: OneExtraPixel