Pattern Group B

Pattern Group B: Creating a Navigation Framework

B1 MULTIPLE WAYS TO NAVIGATE

Brinck, T., D. Gergle, and S. Wood. (2002) Usability for the Web: Designing Web Sites That Work. San Francisco: Kaufmann.
See the description under Chapter 5 (Processes for Developing Customer- Centered Sites).

Garrett, J. J. (No date) Information Architecture Resources (www.jjg.net/ia).
This is a great resource for learning more about information architecture.

InfoDesign: Understanding by Design (www.informationdesign.org).
This Web site is a hub for books, organizations, mailing lists, and other Web sites devoted to information design.

Lakoff, G. (1990) Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
This book analyzes categories of language and thought from a cognitive science perspective. Its title, one of the coolest of any book published in the twentieth century, refers to how an Australian aboriginal language uses the same classifier to describe women, fire, and dangerous things.

Larson, K., and M. Czerwinski. (1998) Web page design: Implications of memory, structure and scent for information retrieval. CHI 1998, ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI Letters, 1(1): 2532.
This study examines the trade-off between breadth and depth for information architectures with respect to preference and performance. Breadth means that the architecture is designed so that many pieces of information are displayed per page (leading to a broad and shallow graph), and depth means that there are fewer pieces of information (leading to a narrow and deep graph). A total of 512 items from Microsoft Encarta were arranged into three Web sites differing in breadth and depth. Overall, increased depth led to longer browsing times, while a balance between breadth and depth outperformed the broadest and shallowest structure. These findings lend more evidence to the theory that fewer clicks and fewer levels work better for organizing large amounts of information.

Rosenfeld, L., and P. Morville. (2002) Information Architecture for the World Wide Web (2nd ed.). Cambridge, MA: O’Reilly.
This book describes techniques for organizing, labeling, and indexing the information on a Web site for browsing and searching.

Selingo, J. (2000, August 3) A message to Web designers: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. New York Times E-Commerce Report (www.nytimes.com/library/tech/00/08/circuits/articles/03desi.html).
This article looks at the fact that many customers are resistant to change, wanting the power that familiarity and expertise afford. Web sites have had to make changes to accommodate this reality, including homepages that have both directories and search engines, homepages with many organized links instead of just a few, and a consistent structure behind the information.

Sigia-1: SIG Information Architecture (www.asis.org/AboutASIS/ SIGEmailLists/ia.html).
This e-mail list is devoted to practitioner, researcher, and student issues in information architecture.

Tufte, E. (1984) The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.
See the description under Chapter 4 (Involving Customers with Iterative Design).

Tufte, E. (1997) Visual Explanations. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.
Another classic by Tufte, this book presents evidence relevant to cause and effect, for decision making and presentations.

Zaphiris, P., B. Shneiderman, and K. Norman. (1999, June) Expandable Indexes versus Sequential Menus for Searching Hierarchies on the World Wide Web (ftp://ftp.cs.umd.edu/pub/hcil/Reports-Abstracts-Bibliography/99-15html/99-15.html).
This study looks at the effectiveness of expanding menus for Web sites. Expanding menus show top-level hierarchies, revealing the next level of that hierarchy when the mouse is rolled over an item. The results indicate that reducing the depth of hierarchies improves browsing performance, lending more evidence to the theory that fewer clicks and fewer levels work better for organizing large amounts of information.

B2 BROWSABLE CONTENT
See the references listed under MULTIPLE WAYS TO NAVIGATE (B1).

B3 HIERARCHICAL ORGANIZATION
See the references listed under MULTIPLE WAYS TO NAVIGATE (B1).

B4 TASK-BASED ORGANIZATION
See the references listed under MULTIPLE WAYS TO NAVIGATE (B1).

B5 ALPHABETICAL ORGANIZATION
See the references listed under MULTIPLE WAYS TO NAVIGATE (B1).

B6 CHRONOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION
See the references listed under MULTIPLE WAYS TO NAVIGATE (B1).

B7 POPULARITY-BASED ORGANIZATION
See the references listed under MULTIPLE WAYS TO NAVIGATE (B1).

B8 CATEGORY PAGES
See the references listed under MULTIPLE WAYS TO NAVIGATE (B1)

B9 SITE ACCESSIBILITY

Assistivetech.net: National Public Web site on Assistive Technology (www.assistivetech.net).
This Web site provides information about assistive technology devices and services. It features a database of assistive technology products, links to other public and private resources, and a convenient search function.
IBM Corporation, Human Ability and Accessibility Center. (No date) Web Accessibility
(www.ibm.com/able/guidelines/web/accessweb.html).
IBM offers this checklist for making sure your Web site has basic accessibility built in. The site includes links to further reading.

Mankoff, J., H. Fait, and T. Tran. (2005) Is your web page accessible? A comparative
study of methods for assessing web page accessibility for the blind. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Portland, Oregon, April 2007, 2005. New York: ACM Press (http://doitest.acm.org/10.1145/1054972.1054979).
This research paper presents the results of a study comparing the effectiveness of four different techniques for evaluating the usability of Web sites for blind users. The authors found that having multiple developers do an expert review with a screen reader was the most successful technique for finding usability problems, discovering roughly 50 percent of the problems identified by an actual laboratory study. (This resource requires access to the ACM Digital Library, at www.acm.org/dl.)

Section 508 (www.section508.gov).
This U.S. government Web site provides a wide range of information about Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which requires that electronic and information technology used by federal agencies be made accessible to people with disabilities.

UniversalUsability.org (www.universalusability.org). The ultimate goal of this group is to make information and communication technologies affordable to and usable by everyone. The Web site has some material describing the salient issues, as well as references on long-term social, legal, and technological approaches to addressing the problems.

WebXACT (www.webxact.watchfire.com).
This online service checks for the basic accessibility of Web sites. It does not ensure accessibility but does help pinpoint potential problems.

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) (www.w3.org).
The W3C’s mission is to lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing protocols and guidelines that ensure long-term growth for the Web. Thus it has a special interest in making Web sites accessible to everyone. Check out the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative at w3.org/wai. You will find tools, checklists, and guidelines at w3.org/tr/wcag (WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).

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