Internet Librarian 2010, day 1, part 2

Information Architecture and Navigation

Jenny Emanuel, of UIUC, talked about ways to improve your web site:

Home pages:

  • Identify the site, establish the brand
  • Set tone and personality
  • Allow people to do something right away
  • Reflect the personality of the library

Pathway pages:

  • Gateways to secondary content
  • Great for categories of stuff you can’t put on the homepage
  • An additional way to navigate

Finding stuff:

  • 5 ways of finding anything (3 of them can be a search box, a site map or index, and pathway pages)
  • But ease of finding is better than multiple ways


  • They’ve lost their purpose
  • Can be used as breadcrumbs
  • Length and organization: no more than 2 slashes
  • Index pages (index.html)
  • Lowercase letters
  • Naming conventions


  • Lower case names
  • Less than 10 letters
  • Broad topic areas that fit with navigation (such as Basic info., Library content, and Guides, how-tos)
  • Index pages can be your pathfinder pages


  • Don’t scroll on a homepage or pathway pages
  • Other pages OK, but be reasonable


  • Readers read in an F-pattern
  • Break up text, use bullet points
  • Use active voice
  • Don’t rehash content on lots of different pages

Page creep:

  • Don’t allow similar pages
  • Each page has a purpose
  • Each page has a home (in the navigation structure)

Tutorials, guides, etc.:

  • Pick one name or define differences


  • Each page should have a title in the title tags
  • Meaningful link text (not “click here”)
  • Image descriptions in the IMG tag
  • Bullet lists for lists
  • Tables only for tabular content

More later.

One thought on “Internet Librarian 2010, day 1, part 2

  1. Pingback: Internet Librarian 2010, part 3 « Water Librarian's Blog

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