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Supplemental Navigation (7 links)

More General Topic(s): Issues (18)

Site maps, indexes, tables of contents, guides.

Supplemental navigation lets users view your content "from the outside", helping them get an overview of the space and providing quick access to deeper elements.

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A Sitemap on Every Page
Usage stats from a small site with a site map at the bottom of every page.

65% is the number for usage of the site map. The stats are from Peter Van Dijck, while the report is from

I have used the site-map-on-every-page successfully as well. It works when the site is small enough (< 30 pages), it is already well-organized (ie, the structure that the site map represents makes sense), and when people may indeed need to jump around a bit (not a tour or an ordering process).

Buit I think it is most effective when the site represents a core set of knowledge that people want to cover most of, but may want to do it in their own way. The site map on every page lets users see (by the color of the links) what they have already read and what they have yet to visit. The site map is in essence a checklist of content at the site and the color of the site map tells them how far they are in reading it all.

And in these cases, the overall strucutre of the site should be the most logical path through the information. Thus the site map conveys one good way to cover the material, yet readers are free to deviate.

Destination: WebWord (25)
Author: Dijck, Peter van (5)
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February 24, 2000


Sitemap Design: Alphabetical or Categorical?

Destination: SURL (8)
Author: Bernard, Michael (1)
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February 1, 2000


The problem(s) with sitemaps
Sitemaps should provide an overview and give direct access.

Peter van Dijck says that sitemaps are hard to do well because they should both provide direct access to specific pieces of content, plus help users see what else is available.

I would add a third: help users understand the information architecture of the site by providing a high level view of everything. Even if users only read the sitemap and never navigate with it, they can still benefit if it helps them grasp the architecture and be less likely to get lost.

From, January 20, 2000. Includes comments at the bottom.

Destination: (13)
Author: Dijck, Peter van (5)
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January 22, 2000


Web Site Maps from Dynamic Diagrams
Map of the Month, by Martin Dodge.

Paul Kahn shows his Z-Diagrams as web site maps. MAPA is their system to do this, but it is not the same as Mappa Mundi, the site that hosts the map of the month.

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November 3, 1999


Web Site Maps

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April 11, 1999


Hypertext Maps
Challenges of making graphical link overviews.

Mark Bernstein talks about some of this issues involved in making informative maps. Automatically-generated maps usually are inadequate, but some tools can make manually-created maps easy and fun.

Destination: HypertextNOW (6)
Author: Bernstein, Mark (7)
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October 31, 1997


Indexing Online ... _articles/Indexing_Online.html

Author: Maislin, Seth (2)
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