RCH WebHelp

Navigation

One of the most important elements of your web site will be navigation. All navigational elements whether it is your main site navigation or a link in your text should signal to the user what sort of information they are likely to find when they click on the link.

Main site navigation

In RCH web sites the main navigational items are located on the left hand side of the screen. The web team will set up the main navigation bar as part of the template design. As content providers it is important that you provide the web team with clear labels for each of your content areas.

Some things to consider when planning main navigation labels:

  • Your main navigation should allow your visitors to see at a glance what information they are likely to find on your site
  • Avoid organisational or technical jargon. Visitors to your site may not be familiar with these specialised terms
  • Use conventions. Look at how other sites structure and name their main navigation
  • Keep your labels concise. Try not to have more than 25 characters including spaces
  • Try not to have more than 8 main navigational areas

Sectional site navigation

If you have many web pages within any given content area provide your users with a logical and clear index of the pages contained within the section. As well as making it easier for your user to navigate within this area, it will provide them with a snapshot of the content to be found.

Bookmarks / named anchors

Bookmarks/named anchors are used to provide navigation within a web page rather than around a website.  It is tempting if you have a page with long content to provide a set of bookmarks at the head of the page, however

  • These bookmarks take up valuable screen 'real estate' 
  • Users know and are willing to scroll up and down a page
  • If your page is well-structured with useful and informative headings and subheadings scrolling should not be an issue for your users
  • If you do have an excessively long page maybe you should consider restructuring your content, i.e.
    • Do you need to include all the content on the page
    • Can the content be divided into separate web pages
    • Is there some other way of delivering this content e.g. Word or PDF file
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