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Alastair Revell is the Managing Consultant of Revell Research Systems, a Management and Technology Consulting Practice based at Exeter in the United Kingdom.
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The material published in this web log is for general purposes only. It does not constitute nor is it intended to represent professional advice. You should always seek specific professional advice in relation to particular issues. The information in this web log is provided "as is" with no warranties and confers no rights. The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions.

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Review Entries for Day Sunday, July 29, 2007

I believe that web site navigation is extremely important and designers that ignore the navigational structure of their web sites severely reduce the usability of their sites.

It surprises me how many people do not consider the likelihood of a visitor landing on anything but their site's home page. It seems obvious that the larger the site, the more likely this is to occur. Such people are also often very anxious about their site's positioning on major search engines, which implies that they at least appreciate that most visitors will probably stumble across their site via some form of search. Nonetheless, it does not seem to register with them that the first page visited is very unlikely to be their home page!

For instance, I've often been told that just using backspace or the "back to" button is adequate to return to the home page and that no explicit link is required, but this assumes that the visitor started from there in the first place - which often simply isn't the case.

Good navigational structure mandates that a site visitor can easily discern where they are within a web site and what they need to do to get where they want to go just from the information on the current page. Consequently, if they land at chance on any page, they can easily work out how to get to the information they are seeking. If they can't, the evidence points to the fact they will be off.

It is repeatedly remarked upon that web sites designed by Revell Research Systems are easy to use. This is largely down to the fact that our web design process considers site navigation and usability very early on in a site's development.

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