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Designing Web Navigation by James Kalbach

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LABELING SYSTEMS

Navigation labels don't exist on their own: they are part of a system of headers, titles, and texts that direct people to the information they want. The design of navigation labels must fit within the overall system. Often there is a tendency to focus on one element or the other. In many cases, the people creating the navigation labels are different from those writing page titles. You job is to bring these together to make a cohesive system. In addition to navigation options, key elements to consider are browser titles, URLs, and page titles.

BROWSER TITLES

Most browsers have a title in a bar at the very top of the application. Figure 5-7 shows the browser title for The New York Times (www.nytimes.com) as an example.

Browser title of The New York Times

Figure 5-7. Browser title of The New York Times

People don't pay attention to browser titles while surfing the Web. As a result, site designers can overlook them. But browser titles are important for many reasons:

Bookmarking

When people bookmark a page, most browsers use the browser title as the default label for the bookmark name. Most people don't manually change these. If you want site visitors to be able to bookmark pages and get back to them, design good browser titles.

Tabbed browsing

Popular browsers such as Firefox offer tabbed browsing. The label displayed in the tab is usually the browser title for a given page. This also applies when people open ...

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