Podcast 38: Navigational Approaches

Paul Boag

Paul and Marcus take a detailed look at the different types of navigation that can be used on a website.


In this 38th episode of boagworld.com Paul and Marcus take a detailed look at the different types of navigation that can be used on a website. From the humble body link to the most complex site map, this episode tackles how to get the most from your sites navigation.

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Website navigation is a huge subject and really far too much to fit into a single podcast. However, despite the obviously foolishness of the endeavour we did our best to cover as much ground as possible.

We looked at the following types of navigation:

Because this is by far the most talked about form of navigation we didn’t dwell on this area for too long except to share a few words of advice learnt through bitter experience:

  • Allow room for expansion
  • Use JavaScript with extreme caution
  • Keep it simple
  • Avoid using graphics for navigation where possible
  • Don’t try and be clever!
  • Consider the depth of your information architecture
  • Keep titles short, descriptive and intuitive
  • Don’t have too many links on any one page

We spent more time on this form of navigation, reflecting on the results of some recent research into how people perceive breadcrumbs. In particular we discussed the position of breadcrumbs and how you explained the concept to end users.

We discussed the benefits of adding related links into the interface of your site and how to organise them into useful categories. We also discussed how to link to external websites.

Site maps

We explain why site maps are important before expanding on the points covered in my previous post on creating a good sitemap.

Finally we discuss the much ignored body link as previously covered in my post “the humble hypertext link“.

Also in this show…

This week Paul and Marcus also cover navigational terminology (siblings, parents, children) and discuss the upcoming @media conference. Finally Paul shares an excellent new Firefox extension he has discovered that allows you to better view the source of HTML pages you are viewing.