Make Your Navigation Conventions Consistent with the Rest of the Site

  • Different areas of the page have different sorts of links on them. Use them correctly:

    • Links in the menu should take users deeper into the website.
    • Links in the breadcrumbs should take users up toward the homepage
    • Links in body content may go anywhere

    Being consistent about how we use these areas helps users orient themselves in the imaginary space of the website. From any page on the website, there are three directions in which a user can go:

    Ways to move diagram

    For each of these directions, we have a specific region of the page:

    Ways to move diagram 2

    Notice that it is the location of the page, not its importance, that places a page on the menu.

    If you have a page that is particularly important, there are a number of ways to highlight it. Department homepages are always highlighted in the navigation. Other strategies include using page elements such as the “learn more” box, the “call to action” box, the “spotlight” box, etc. See Use Page Elements to Highlight Content for more information.