“Navigation Systems aids us to chart our course, determine our position and find our way back”
(The above sentence is quoted from the referred book)
I liked this analogy of a conventional navigation system as related to the web-site navigation systems since it supports the basic user need to browse through information with most satisfaction. The user should be able to know where and how to start navigation to find a particular content and should be informed about which content section he is in and how to get back to the previous section or to the home page or to any section that he desires.
I selected catalog Model A’s www.dell.com to reflect on this topic. The web-site’s navigation is designed to support the concept of aiding user to traverse through content category, reach a destination, satisfy his information need and then go back wherever he wants to.
I opted to search for a laptop for home usage. The home page navigation is intentionally kept unique to support the basic company mission, what they have to offer, what is available on the web-site and how a user can search for it. Image based links are visually appealing and directs user exactly to the point where his mind wants to search for information. The picture of laptop and its toggling feature easily convey that it is the starting point for my search. The select list that pops up, further allowed me to identify myself and guided me directly to browsable category of all available laptops.
The main section navigation is 100% consistent and fixed across the website. Where ever I am, the main content category and its sub-category items are highlighted by blue background. Breadcrumbs shows me exactly where I am. The web-site offers excellent navigation feature by integrating search and browsing, by keeping the top bar and breadcrumbs unchanged. I can easily switch back and forth between any content category or to the home page, since the whole site navigation is always visible.
Rosenfield L., Moevillee P. (2002). Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, Second Edition. O’Reilly Media