On Navigation

Navigation is the term applied to a site's use of menus and links that enable the visitor to "navigate" around the site.

It is crucial to the well-being of your site. If a visitor gets lost, or can't easily find what they came for, you have an unhappy visitor. An unhappy visitor will probably not come back, nor buy your product or service.

It is often said that once a user is at your site, ideally there should be no more than 2 clicks needed for them to find what they are looking for. Of course, this can't always be possible, but it certainly should be what you aim for. It is also advisable to clearly indicate which page of your site the visitor is currently on. (Note the bullets in the menu column at the left.)

Navigation discussions always, or should always, include the word "usability". This is the overall term for how easy or difficult it is for visitors to absorb what's on your site and get to where they want to go in it. A fellow named Jakob Nielsen has written extensively and for years on this subject. I have subscribed to his newsletter since 1995. You should do so as well. There is also a great deal of information about this subject on his site.

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