When planning out your Web site, usability should be a top priority because no matter how many great features you might include on your site, if people can't get to them, they're useless.
Some of the basic styles of navigation are:
- Embedded links: where links are embedded within text, and relevant words or phrases are links to additional information on other Web pages
- Trail links: when you can drill down deeper and deeper into the site to find information with a trail of links that takes you back to your starting point
- Navigation or "nav" bar: buttons, links or some other visual tool that are repeated on the top, bottom, left or right side of each screen and link to categories or information areas
- Site map: a list of links or a visual mapping out of all categories and subcategories found on a site
The most usable sites contain several different styles of navigation, providing visitors with a variety of options to find the information they need.
Aliza Sherman is an entrepreneur and author of Cybergrrl: A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web (Ballantine Books). She is currently working on her next book and new company.