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Why You Need to KISS Your Navigation

Written by George Manty  · December 6, 2006

This past weekend, I fixed the navigation for our homeschooling wiki. You can check out the new navigation by clicking here.

I modeled the original design after wikipedia. It had featured articles, featured categories, etc. I think that the original design was too cluttered and from what I discovered non-techies found it hard to navigate.

In the redesign of the home page, I decided to follow the axiom: Keep it Simple Stupid (KISS). Instead of having featured articles and featured categories I made one big table with a list of the most popular categories, subcategories and articles. I find this layout much easier to navigate.

I also moved most of the introduction text to a separate page. Right at the top of the page, I direct new users to this new Introduction page.

I feel like the new home page is WAY easier to navigate and much more user friendly. I think that often times technical types (like myself) forget that most of the people who use the web are not necessarily as web savvy as we are. It needs to be simple for people to a navigate your site. That’s actually a lesson I learned way back, but I was reminded of this by my wife Jill, a visitor to our site and from interviewing Austin of Trust My Mechanic. It didn’t sink in that our wiki was in violation of this rule, until others pointed it out. Easy navigation is very important.

I suggest taking a look at your sites and/or blogs and asking the question,

“How can I make it easier for my visitors to use this site?”

We should all probably ask that question on a regular basis….

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