People won't use your Web site if they can't find their way around it.
- You're usually trying to find something.
- You decide whether to ask first (typing a description of what you're looking for in a search box) or browse first.
- If you choose to browse, you make your way through a hierarchy, using signs to guide you.
- Eventually, if you can't find what you're looking for, you'll leave.
Two of the purposes of navigation are fairly obvious: to help us find whatever it is we're looking for and to tell us where we are.
Important navigation functions:
- It tell us what's here.
- It tell us how to use the site.
- It give us confidence in the people who built it.
The trunk test
Imagine that you've been blindfolded and locked in the trunk of a car, then driven around for a while and dumped on a page somewhere deep in the bowels of a Web site. If the page is well designed, when your vision clears you should be able to answer these questions without hesitation:
- What site is this? (Site ID)
- What page am I on? (Page name)
- What are the major sections of this site? (Sections)
- What are my options at this level? (Local navigation)
- Where am I in the scheme of things? ("You are here" indicatos)
- How can I search?
Based on the Steve Krug's book "Don't make me think".