Henrik Olsen has a most interesting article, GUUUI – Navigation blindness, which points out that visitors to websites
are fixated on getting what they came for and simply click on links or hit the back button to get there.
… users are highly goal-driven and tend to ignore navigation tools. Instead, they focus on the centre area, and hit the back button if they can’t find anything that will take them further.
… persuasive navigation should be placed at locations where we can expect that users have come to the end of their current mission. A good placement is often towards the end of a page.
… Instead of being discrete appendices separated from the rest of the site, navigation should be integrated into the site and make sure that users stay in the flow.
Now that could have a profound effect on a site. Interesting to think that in a mere ten years of the web such a strong tradition has built up that it feels like breaking the rules to abandon all that carefully structured navigation. Pondering required.
[Via 456 Berea Street.]