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Design Patterns: Faceted Navigation

“Faceted navigation may be the most significant search innovation of the past decade. It features an integrated, incremental search and browse experience that lets users begin with a classic keyword search and then scan a list of results. It also serves up a custom map that provides insights into the content and its organization and offers a variety of useful next steps. In keeping with the principles of progressive disclosure and incremental construction, it lets users formulate the equivalent of a sophisticated Boolean query by taking a series of small, simple steps. Learn how it works, why it has become ubiquitous in e-commerce, and why it’s not for every site.” (Peter Morville & Jeffery Callender ~ A List Apart)

Navigation Menus: Trends and Examples

“Navigation is the most significant element in web design. Since web-layouts don’t have any physical representation a user can stick to, consistent navigation menu is one of the few design elements which provide users with some sense of orientation and guide them through the site. Users should be able to rely on it which is why designers shouldn’t mess around with it.” (Smashing Magazine)

Clickstream Study Reveals Dynamic Web

“A new browser study revealed a shift in how we interact with the Web. University of Hamburg researchers found the Web moving from static hypertext information to dynamic interactive services. Clickstream heatmaps and web page statistics show rapid interaction over smaller areas of the screen. The authors recommend that web developers create concise, flexible, and fast loading web pages to keep pace with the speed of web navigation.” (WebSiteOptimization) – courtesy of guuui

How to build a better web browser

“I’m in the lucky minority of people that have actually designed successful browsers, or parts of them, for any length of time, and with Firefox and Opera in the headlines, and the art of browser design becomes important again, I thought I’d write down some of what I know. Its been years since I was a program manager on the Internet Explorer project, but I’ve maintained interests in the design of navigation and searching systems of all kinds: what follows is a rough summary of what I’ve learned.” (Scott Berkun) – courtesy of lawrence lee

Influence of Training and Exposure on the Usage of Breadcrumb Navigation

“Recent studies have shown that while the use of breadcrumb trails to navigate a website can be helpful, few users choose to utilize this method of navigation. This study investigates the effects of ‘mere exposure’ and training on breadcrumb usage. Findings indicate that brief training on the benefits of breadcrumb usage resulted in more efficient search behavior.” (Spring S. Hull – SURL 6.1) – courtesy of lucdesk

Tracking user navigation methods by logging where users click on web pages

“What this gives me is some justification, I think, for getting content owners to focus on labelling in order to give links in the body of the page excellent scent, and it allows me to feel more comfortable exploring ways to modify the local navigation and even remove it in some cases. It definitely helps to have this kind of data when exploring UI modifications with your team. I expect to track this data in the coming months to see how changes in the navigation scheme impact use.” (Michael Angeles)

Web Page Layout: A Comparison Between Left- and Right-Justified Site Navigation Menus

“The usability of two Web page layouts was directly compared: one with the main site navigation menu on the left of the page, and one with the main site navigation menu on the right. Sixty-four participants were divided equally into two groups and assigned to either the left- or the right-hand navigation test condition. Using a stopwatch, the time to complete each of five tasks was measured. The hypothesis that the left-hand navigation would perform significantly faster than the right-hand navigation was not supported. Instead, there was no significant difference in completion times between the two test conditions. This research questions the current leading Web design thought that the main navigation menu should be left justified” (James Kalbach and Tim Bosenick – Journal of Digital Information 4.1)

Site Navigation: Keeping It Under Control

“Navigation is the section of the page that controls what appears in this content area. The beauty of this is that the page content is malleable. The architecture is not, and should represent a strong, extensible foundation that will last at least ten years. It’s like building out floors in an office building. You can change the functionality of the floors as needed without changing the structure of the building.” (Indi YoungAdaptive Path)