Let’s test the idea that the more you duplicate links, the easier it is for users
to find stuff on your site. We’ll use the old Biowisdom web site as a test case. Each page provides five ways to navigate, as indicated above.
- At the top right you see a horizontal navigation bar with links to Company, News, etc.
- At the top left you see a horizontal navigation bar with links to products and services.
- The left column, called Quick Links, lists their products. These are links to product-specific pages.
- The middle column of the page has short product descriptions. Each product logo is, again, a hyperlink to a product-specific page. I can also click Read More to go to a product page. At this point I have four different ways to link to a particular product page.
- But wait, there’s more! The column to the right also displays logos for these products and these are also hyperlinks.
Notice that the products are not listed in the same order in all three columns. Are you getting as confused as I am?
My head is starting to spin.
Let’s take a look at the Products page. Here, inexplicably, the links in the left column are duplicated. Am I seeing double?
Is all this duplication of links on every page helpful? No way. The site looks like a mess, and keeping track of where I am is horribly confusing.
I feel like a rat in a maze.
There should be one consistent navigation system that looks the same on every page. Duplication is not a cure for bad design.
Analysis by Smart Alice Web Design & Photography, smart web design for people who want a unique and effective presence on the internet.
Copyright 2009, Alice Gebura, All Rights Reserved.