[map]A Navigation Pattern from
Patterns for Personal Web Sites

Entrances Everywhere

A Web site isn't a building, into which you must enter through its front door. On the Web, an inbound link can bypass a site's home page and go directly to a page with relevant content. Since most of your site's information isn't on the home page, these deep links help people find what they need quickly, by going straight to what they seek.

However, following deep links can be disorienting. A visitor who comes to one of your pages through a deep link has no context, no notion of how the page fits into the rest of the site. The only things known about your site are what's present on the page they arrived at. Unless the page provides clues to its context, visitors will feel lost in a cul de sac.

Therefore, make every page an entrance to your site.

Here are some methods for doing this:

These are good candidates for a Standard Header And Footer. Placing these elements in the page header gives them the best chance of being seen.

Last updated 8 July 2003
All contents ©2002-2003 Mark L. Irons