Using navigation in a consistent manner
Using navigation in a consistent manner may be obvious to many web authors, but it is such a core prerequisite for a good online experience, that it merits special mention here.
The special challenge here is for the content author to anticipate the types of devices which will be used to access the content. Those who use a pointing device in some fashion can be considered equal in their abilities to regular desktop users. Others, however, need to be considered separately.
"Drill Down" is a general principle which works well and should be adhered to. Hereby the information gets more detailed as the user approaches the desired information. It is important to keep the need for navigation limited, especially for those users who do not have a pointing device.
Rules of thumb
- Try to limit your navigational steps to roughly 3 clicks
Develop a good clustering scheme of the various thematically different sections of the content, with navbars to connect them. See Creating a top of page navbar for reference.
- Avoid navigation by scrolling as much as possible and especially in a horizontal direction
Provide a means of quick access, such as AccessKeys for those devices without pointing devices.
- Offer specific links from within the text only
- Do not change the methods for navigation you use. Be consistent.
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