When You Design A Website, Design It To Be Navigated

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Ever since I heard Tara O’Doherty of Cossette/Fjord discuss usability at the Internet Marketing Conference several years ago, two things happened. One, Tara and I have become friends, bonding over everything from the bleeding edge of marketing to things far too silly for this Blog. Secondly, it awoke me, and the whole team here at Twist Image, to better understand and develop websites not for our clients but for our clients’ customers.
I also began subscribing to and reading GUUUI. In their most recent email blast there is a link to an article called, Navigation Blindness, that is a must-read for anyone who uses their website in a serious fashion (meaning more than brochure-ware).
The email says that “most web development projects put a lot of effort into the design of navigation tools, but fact is that users tend to ignore them. They are fixated on getting what they came for and simply click on links or hit the back button to get there. This behavior suggests navigation should be designed to be a more integral part of website experience.”
This is more than food for thought – it’s a whole meal of reading.
We’re also learning that sometime stating the obvious is not only confusing to web users but literally bottlenecks them. Have you ever put a stranger on your site and watched what, where and why they do things?