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Smashing Html5 by Bill Sanders

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Chapter 8: Navigation Strategies

Getting around a Web site is generally known as navigation, and HTML5 recognizes that fact by introducing a <nav> tag. With simple sites, navigation is simple. However, bad or inadequate navigation can invade virtually any Web site. By the same token, good navigation can make even the most complex site easy for the user to find what he wants.

Because this book focuses on HTML5, this chapter shows how to set up different navigation systems using specific HTML5 elements. However, before starting on the more specific tags that are to be used, you need to understand some general Web navigation concepts.

Web Navigation Concepts

When thinking about navigation, Web designers consider

Interface design: Jennifer Tidwell best describes interface design for the Web in her book Designing Interfaces. Many of the processes and patterns that Tidwell discusses are covered in this chapter as well, but with nowhere near the depth and scope as Tidwell does, so if you want more information on this subject, be sure to check out her book.

Information design: In a far broader topic, information design, Edward Tufte has shown how different kinds of information can be presented so that it’s best understood. Of special interest to Web navigation design is the notion that information is the interface. In other words, navigation is information arranged so that users can find what they want.

Neither Tidwell’s nor Tufte’s concepts can be summarized in a tidy definition. ...

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