This module discussed solutions for designing website content for businesses, structuring information, and navigational and usability tools.
You should now be able to:
- Describe how businesses use the Internet
- Describe how businesses use intranets and extranets
- Describe how businesses use other types of networks
- Explain how signs are used to create meaning on a website
- Explain how metaphors are used to create meaning on a website
- Describe various ways of structuring information on a website for navigation and usability
- Describe browser compatibility issues in designing websites and Web applications
- Explain cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility solutions
Improve Website Navigation:
| Navigation bar
| A graphical element with hyperlinks to all the major parts of a website
| Site map
| Shows users how the content is structured and gives them a quick way to move around the site
| Pull-down menu
| Instead of typing in keywords, users choose from a list
| Main menu
| Lists the site content, usually on the home page
| Hypertext links at the top of a page show users where they are and the path by which they got there
| A list of site content usually placed in a frame that appears on every page
Just about every website has some form of navigation. Unfortunately, not every website navigation is good. Most of the time, the navigation of a website is put together by people who know how to design websites but do not know how to create a good user experience. The designer knows very little about marketing a website or creating a website built for the customer.
Just because your navigation is built into the site does not mean it is doing the best job of giving your visitors what they want.
Navigation can make or break your website's overall performance when it comes to retaining visitors, keeping them engaged and driving them through the conversion funnel. Strong site navigation makes it easy for visitors to quickly find the information that interests them, sans a potentially frustrating hunt. It also helps search engines index your important information efficiently and effectively.
Conversely, poor navigation does more harm than good since it confuses visitors and causes them to abandon the website.
When they cannot find what they are looking for, you do not get the conversion you anticipated.
In this module, you were introduced to the following terms:
- Internet: Computer network linking computers around the world and comprising four essential parts computers, networks, software, and users.
- Intranet: A private TCP/IP-based network of computers on an organization's secured local area network (LAN).
- Extranet: A portion of an intranet to which only authorized users may send and receive information or conduct transactions.
- Local Area Network (LAN): A private network that connects computers in an organization's workgroup, department, or building.
- Wide Area Network: A private network that connects geographically remote equipment. This is usually through a physical connection using high-speed telephone lines.
- Virtual Private Network (VPN): An alternative to a WAN that uses special software on client computers to connect across an intranet or the Internet to special software on a dedicated server.
In the next module, the legal issues of content on the Web will be discussed.