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Designing Web Navigation by James Kalbach

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SPECIFYING NAVIGATION

Presentation, the title of this chapter, has two meanings. First, it refers to how the navigation will appear on the page to site visitors. But it also refers to communicating your designs to others on the development team. After you've performed analysis, architected the site, determined a layout, and designed the final pages, you must be able to clearly explain your to work to others.

Unlike creating a site map or wireframes, which allow you to consider multiple design directions, this stage in the process is about capturing and documenting the final solution. This is not to say that no revision is involved, but you shouldn't be freely exploring alternatives at this time: it's time to deliver. Note that you probably won't be just specifying navigation, so you'll have to consider other parts of the site's design as well.

To communicate your navigation system effectively, use screen designs and prototypes to show how it will look and user interface specifications to describe how it will work.

SCREEN DESIGNS AND PROTOTYPES

Screen designs show the final navigation in context of finished page designs, reflecting and blending layout, alignment, text design, color, icons, imagery, branding, and business goals, among other things. As with wireframes, you needn't show every page in the site; instead, you should generally reflect page types and templates.

Typically, you'll create screen designs in a graphics program such as Adobe Photoshop, which means you're creating static ...

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