I think it could be a worthwhile highlight so of the key takeaways from this book.
When building a webpage, there are two goals to keep in mind:
- Is it obvious to the user what is on this page and what purpose the page serves?
- Does the user know how to proceed to their next step from this page?
The Design advice that follows are tools that continuously strive towards these goals while remembering that website Users are in one of two places. They are either searching for what they want or they have found it. Because this "search" is such a large part of the user experience, making a website browser-friendly is crucial to the websites success. Using the metaphor of 'website=store'; we can find parallels to tools that are useful for a customers search in a store to that of a user on a website.
"You can't know where you're going unless you know where you've been"
A crucial way to help a browser find their way is to give them a solid footing. They should have an idea of where they currently are within a site and what they have seen so far. They should have a natural understanding of their options and how they can move forward. Creating this sense of "location" is particularly important on the web, where there is no sense of direction. On the web we can jump from one place to another. To create the potential for navigation, we must create a logical layout that creates the idea of a position.
As a user visits a page for the first time, they should immediately know what purpose that page serves. On the popular "godaddy.com" site, each page has a clear title that:
Links or Directions to Move Forward
Design must make it easy for a the searching user to understand what steps he or she can take next. On the screenshot of a Microsoft webpage to the right
A Clear and Visible Organization
Perhaps the most important resource a website can offer is an understanding of its layout. Amazon spearheaded the use of tabs to accomplish this task. This conventional organizational tool used in everyday life gives an intuitive way for users to understand their "location" with respect to the website.