The site design
First time users need an overview of services and availabilitgy
Intermitent users need structure and landmarks
Frequent users need shortcuts to speed repeated tasks. (Kellogg and Richards, 1995)
Who are our users?
Why are they coming to the site?
What will they be doing?
What will they want?
What will they be looking for?
As the number of information objects multiply (subsites, functions, documents) disorientation among users, especially first time and intermittent users increases.
Aside from proper organization and representation of the existing information objects there are several means by which one can reduce disorientation.
A sitemap provides a visual overview of the website. This is especially usefull in a site that is deeper than it is broad. Except in clearly understood hierchies deep layers of information are more disorienting than broad display of information. (Norman 1991)
The operative concept is "clearly undersood." This varies with the user's base of knowledge as well as the frequency with which users make use of the site and their willingness to learn the architecture of the site. Except where evidence clearly indicates otherwise one should assume users will not be willing to expend any energy in learning the site architecture, that the navigation process should be as self-evident as possible to new users and that this user will possess only general knowledge regarding the subject at hand.
Placement of Information
Users expect the first item they see (usually mid-screen upper left) to be important. If they don't see the information they are looking for, or a clearly understandable path to it, one will begin loosing viewers.
Scrolling versus clicking
Site design has gone away from page turning format of the codex and back to the concept of scrolling. Is this an advancement? Should information be presented screenful by screenful? The problem in reading large amounts of information, whether scrolling or page turning / clicking format is the ease by which the reader may remember or mark his progress through the text.
Advantages of Pages:
- One reads faster as one doesn't loose ones place on the page. Scrolling requires our eyes to readjust to a new configuration of text. This is counter to our usual mode of acquiring information. In the normal world items remain where they are. Should we decide to to see something new we move our focus of concentration elsewhere from the current spot of concentration.
- One can scan and retain information better.
- Numbers as are used in books, but shall these screen numbers function in the same maner as do page numbers?
Disadvantages of Pages
- More difficult to create pages, one is no longer in the realm of simple .html pages.
- More server demands.
The only reason for not "turning" pages is because presently response time is too slow. Only when the response time become nearly instantaneous (less than 1 sec) does turning the page make sense.
Need an essay? You can buy essay help from us today!