Any user that ventures unto a specific website seeks explicit information, and if that user is unable to find said information, that user is more likely to leave the site and find a site more accommodating to his/her needs. It is the function of the navigation menu to aid users in locating what material is being sought. According to Eccher (2015, p.70), usability and maintainability are two important concerns when creating the navigation menus of a website and that the menu is a key element of effective website design (Eccher, 2015, p. 70). Usability as it relates to navigation bars will be discussed below, while maintainability will be addressed not only as it applies to navigating a website, but also as it relates to keeping website current for users to able to navigate the site.
As indicated, usability is the ability of a user to find the information he/she seeks, process the information, and perform whatever functions as needed (Eccher, 2015, p. 7). The use of a navigation menu allows the user to peruse the website. There exist four primary pathways by which users are able to navigate a website: use of hyperlinks, streamline the navigation bar, keep sidebars separate, and include footers. Hyperlinks will be examined initially.
Hyperlinks are highlighted word or picture in a document or Web page allowing users to click their way from page to page; it is contained in the body of your page and is a distinct color, usually blue. It should be noted that whatever color of the hyperlink, no other text should be that same color. Also hyperlinks should be underlined, while other text should be italicized or bold for emphasis ...
... middle of paper ...
... way the designer set out to make it work during the creation phase. Maintainability will be covered succinctly below.
Maintainability is the continuous improvement of a website by ensuring that the navigation links are updated with the most useful information that will continue to attract consumers to the site. Maintainability can be achieved according to Herman (2013) by: ensuring that the domain name is registered and registration is kept current, website software is continuously updated, analytics are performed weekly, content on navigation panes are kept updated, links do not issue an error message, load time is quick and doesn’t time out, and website is updated and compatible with latest browser (Herman, 2013).
In conclusion, usability and maintainability in website navigation is also critical to the successful operation of any website.
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