Navigation Bloopers


The most pervasive problem software users encounter is navigation: finding their way to what they are seeking. This is due mainly to inadequate navigation cues—the equivalent of poor signage on hiking trails, city streets, or building hallways.

According to usability analyst Jakob Nielsen [1999d], successful navigation cues let people know:

  •  where they are,
  •  where they’ve been,
  •  where they can go.

To those I’ll add:

  •  whether the goal is near or far.

Unfortunately, many software products and Web sites do a poor job of providing these cues, so people often ...

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