Best Practice in Web Design...

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Site Navigation

Develop a simple and consistent navigation scheme. Links should be presented clearly and the words or images that the user clicks on must be clear, concise and relevant to the information they are leading to.

Navigation Buttons
Always ensure that the navigation buttons are placed in the same place on all of the pages on the site.

You should remember that every graphic you add to your website for navigational purposes increases the download time for the user. So keep your navigation buttons simple and reuse the same ones throughout your site.

It is now commonplace to have the company logo as a link back to the home page.

Finding Information
The key to the success of your website will be largely based upon how easy it is for users to find the information that they require. You should consider including a site map and a search facility to help in the location of information.

Once a user is browsing the site, you should use hypertext to provide contextual linking to related ideas or content. Try to anticipate what information users are likely to want next, but at the same time leave them free to make their own navigational choices.

If it's a large website consider the use of a breadcrumb trail to show users where they are within the website.

The "Three Click Rule"
Bear in mind the "three click rule" which means that users starting at your home page should be able to get to the information they require in three mouse clicks. While this is not always achievable, by taking it into account at the site design stage you are more likely to get close to it.

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