#InfoCampSEA: How to Identify Flaws in Navigation

I attended InfoCamp Seattle this past weekend and was quite impressed by many of the presentations. I will post articles about the ones I attended all week long.

On Saturday, I attended a session by information architect Patrick Mishina on how to identify flaws in navigation structures. I learned quite a few things from his work on the University of Washington Burke Museum site (which is currently being redesigned as a result of his efforts).

Identifying flaws is particularly important not only when designing and building a website, but also when evaluating the user experience at any point. Since websites are often constructed in a phased build, some flaws may not be readily apparent to all users or administrators.

Accurately identifying flaws can help project managers to scope changes and updates and to justify improvements in the first place.

Here are 5 things to look for when assessing navigation:

  1. Redundancy (multiple links to the same place)
  2. Recursive loops (links that lead nowhere or back to the same place)
  3. Information Silos (links that allow no method of return to the original site)
  4. Broken Links (links that result in error messages)
  5. “Dirty Magnets” (links that promise to lead to something, but leads somewhere else)

In addition, Patrick has a really useful blog with posts about taxonomy, mobile applications, ecosystems and many other interesting topics. Check it out!  





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