Thursday, June 10, 2010

Navigational Systems Used in Website, Web Page, and Subsite Design

Navigational Systems are designed within a Website, a Web page, and a subsite to provide a clear path of navigation to end users—so end users will not get lost in cyberspace. In Designing and Writing Online Documentation William Horton explains the problem and symptoms of getting lost in cyberspace; he quotes from Jakob Nielsen’s book Hypertext and HyperMedia that states: “Readers in complex online documents often lose track of where they are or where they have been. In a field study of a hypertext document [about Information Architecture and Navigational Systems], 56 percent [56%] of [the end] users said they were unsure about where they were and 44 percent [44%] doubted they could find a topic they visited earlier [on the World Wide Web]” (8:210; 11:188-206).

Regarding the design of Navigational Systems, Jakob Nielsen states in Information Architecture for the World Wide Web by Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld that a large Website such as Sun Microsystems ( contains a base of at least 25,000 Web pages (14:xi). The reason effective Navigational Systems need to be designed for any Website is that because the end users should be able to navigate through any Website, without experiencing severe problems of puzzlement or getting lost.

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