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Streamlining Your Web Site's Navigation

A good Web site is designed so that users can navigate easily and intuitively and create their own paths to find the information most relevant to them. As you start to work on the design for your Web pages, make sure that users can easily access key information from more than one place in the site and that they can move back and forth between the main pages and sections.

As you plan the navigation of your site, make sure that visitors can

  • Follow different paths to the same important information. It might seem repetitive at first, but providing more than one link to the same page makes it easier for visitors to find their way around your site. For example, if you have a family history section, you might want to link to that page from many other pages in your site, such as the page about your daughter's wedding as well as the page about your grandparents.
  • Move back and forth between pages and sections. Links that help users move forward and backward through a site can be especially useful in a slide show or an image gallery.
  • Add a search feature. If you have a lot of content on your Web site, consider adding a way for users to search through your pages. One simple solution is the Google Mini Search Appliance, which you can search for at Google.com.

Follow the three-clicks rule, which states that no important piece of information should ever be more than three clicks away from anywhere else on your Web site. The most important information should be even closer at hand. Some information, such as contact information, should never be more than one click away.

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