Brainstorms and Raves

Notes on Web Design, Development, Standards, Typography, Music, and More

Tue

8

JAN

2002

Site Maps: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Jakob Nielsen’s latest Alertbox article is Site Map Usability. His summary:

"Most site maps fail to convey multiple levels of the site’s information architecture. In usability tests, users often overlook site maps or can’t find them. Complexity is also a problem: a map should be a map, not a navigational challenge of its own."

He cites some interesting examples and makes good points about usability and keeping them simple. Some I’ve seen have truly been a maze, while others that are simple don’t begin to tell me anything helpful. Finding a good balance is key. Nielsen suggests them being no more than 2-1/2 times the window size.

Some people say that if a site has good information architecture that a site map isn’t needed. While I understand that, I also find well done sitemaps are a user-friendly addition to sites. Another good reason to have sitemaps is for search engines, in which case a text sitemap is first choice.

06:02 pm, pst 8 January, 2002 Comments, Trackbacks ·

Categories: Usability

top


Visit iStockPhoto - Royalty-free stock images. Click Upload Earn, Click Download Create 

I Wrote a Book

Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists  Via amazon.com: Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists, by Shirley Kaiser. SitePoint Books (July 2006). 

Available now via: SitePoint Books, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca (Canada), Amazon.co.uk (UK), Amazon.fr (France), Amazon.de (Germany), Amazon.co.jp (Japan), Tower Books U.S. and elsewhere! You'll also help support this site and its owner if you purchase via any of these links.

Learn more at SKDesigns - Deliver First Class Web Sites and via SitePoint Books.

Recommended Books

Cover - Defensive Design for the Web: How to improve error messages, help, forms, and other crisis points, by 37Signals. New Riders Press (March 2, 2004). 

Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance

Hand-picked best book recommendations for Web site design, CSS, graphics, Photoshop, color, accessibility, more

In association with
 In Association with Amazon.com 
http://brainstormsandraves.com/archives/2002/01/08/site_maps_the_good_the_bad_and_the_ugly/
Page last modified 14 July, 2007 - 10:23pm PDT Page load time: 0.009026 seconds.