Just wait, Gretel, until the moon rises, and then we shall see the crumbs of bread which I havestrewn about; they will show us our way home again.
In this chapter, we’ll cover:
Balancing context and flexibility in web navigation
Integrating global, local, and contextual navigation
Supplemental navigation tools such as sitemaps, indexes, guides, wizards, and configurators
Personalization, visualization, tag clouds, collaborative filtering, and social navigation
As our fairy tales suggest, getting lost is a bad thing. It is associated with confusion, frustration, anger, and fear. In response to this danger, humans have developed navigation tools to prevent us from getting lost and to help us find our way home. From breadcrumbs to compasses and astrolabes, to maps, street signs, and global positioning systems, people have demonstrated great ingenuity in the design and use of navigation tools and wayfinding strategies.
We use these tools to chart our course, to determine our position, and to find our way back. They provide a sense of context and comfort as we explore new places. Anyone who has driven through an unfamiliar city as darkness falls understands the importance these tools and strategies play in our lives.
In digital information environments, navigation is rarely a life or death issue. However, getting lost in a large website can be confusing and frustrating. While a well-designed taxonomy may reduce the chances that users ...
Get Information Architecture, 4th Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.
O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.