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  • Site structure and navigation




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    2. Site structure and navigation


    SCORING AT A GLANCE: 0 = extremely poor, not implemented • 1 = very poor • 2 = poor • 3 = good • 4 = very good • 5 = excellent, exceeds criteria






    Heuristic

    Rationale

    Your notes

    Your score

    2.1

    Content on a single subject is grouped together

    It is important that staff can find all of the information they need to complete a task. To do this effectively all information on a particular topic should be located within the same section of the intranet.

    If information is not located in the same section, there must be links to content in related sections or staff will have to visit many sections to find required details.

    0: Related content (such as travel policies and travel booking applications) is not grouped together and there are no related links to enable staff to quickly and easily move to related content.

    5: Content is grouped by subject and related links are provided to enable staff to move to appropriate content in other areas of the site.









    2.2

    The labels used in the navigation are clear, consistent and useful

    Labels used in the navigation are a key factor in whether staff can locate information on the intranet. The labels need to provide a clear indication of the content that is available within each section of the intranet.

    Labels should be:



    • Understandable by staff

    The broader principle is that the labels should provide a strong ‘information scent’, thereby providing staff with many clues about which navigation item to select when seeking a particular piece of information.

    0: Navigation labels are ambiguous, use organisational jargon, are used inconsistently, or do not provide a clear indication of the content that is being linked to.

    5: Navigation labels clearly differentiate each area of the site and are understandable by all staff.









    2.3

    Critical content is located high in the structure of the site

    The most frequently used information should be surfaced high in the structure of the site, either on the intranet home page or top-level section pages. This ensures that critical information can be easily found and quickly accessed.

    0: Critical content is not consistently located high in the hierarchy of the site and commonly used information is 4 or more clicks from the home page.

    5: Staff can quickly and easily navigate to critical or commonly-used content. Key information is located high in the structure of the site, or is linked to from the home page or top-level section pages.









    2.4

    More than one navigation method is provided to find information

    Staff should be able to navigate to content using more than one navigation method. Alternates to the main navigation include:

    • A-Z indexes

    • Site maps

    • Search

    0: There are no alternative navigation methods on the site.

    5: There are multiple ways in which staff can navigate to content. Each is highly effective and easy to use.









    2.5

    Navigation clearly identifies where pages reside within the intranet

    Staff may directly access pages within the intranet, rather than navigating from the home page. Use of cross-linking will also direct staff to other areas of the site.

    Users should therefore be provided with a clear indication of where they are currently located within the overall structure of the intranet. This allows them to navigate to more general information, or to find related content.

    General (lot. generalis - umumiy, bosh) - qurolli kuchlardagi harbiy unvon (daraja). Dastlab, 16-a.da Fransiyada joriy qilingan. Rossiyada 17-a.ning 2-yarmidan maʼlum. Oʻzbekiston qurolli kuchlarida G.

    0: There is no clear indication where pages reside within the hierarchy of the site.

    5: The location of the current page within the hierarchy of the site is clearly indicated. This can be achieved through techniques such as highlighting navigation elements or ‘breadcrumb trails’.









    2.6

    Global navigation appears consistently throughout the intranet

    Global navigation should be consistently presented throughout the intranet. This allows staff to quickly jump between major sections, or to access key functionality from anywhere in the site.

    The global navigation should also provide a consistent (and obvious) way for staff to jump directly back to the main home page of the intranet.

    The only exception to this is the home page of the site. It is not necessary for the global navigation to appear consistently on the home page as this can reduce the space available to introduce the content categories.

    0: There is no global navigation, or there are major inconsistencies in the global navigation throughout the site.

    5: Global navigation is consistent throughout the site, and it includes a clear link to the home page and to major sections of the intranet. Key functionality (such as search or feedback) is also included as part of the global navigation.









    2.7

    Related information is linked together

    The intranet should provide extensive cross-linking between related content, to allow staff to easily find required information, even as the size and scope of the intranet increases. As much as possible, there should be no ‘dead-end’ pages (which do not provide links to further information or supporting details).

    This is particularly important where intranet content is maintained by many authors, as this creates the danger that information will be presented in distinct ‘silos’, making it hard to find complete information on any given subject.

    (This can be evaluated by attempting to complete typical tasks, or finding common information on the intranet.)

    0: There are many ‘dead-end’ pages on the site, with no indication of related content.

    5: Links to related content are consistently incorporated into the design of the page, and there is extensive cross-linking between content. Where relevant, external links are also included.









    2.8

    The structure and navigation supports continued growth of the intranet

    Intranets undergo continuous growth and improvement, including adding new top-level sections to the site. The design of page elements and navigation should easily allow new sections or pages to be added to the site, without reducing the effectiveness of overall navigation on the site.

    The navigation should therefore be ‘scalable’, to ensure that growth can be managed without requiring regular wholesale redesigns of the site or navigation.

    0: Adding a new area of content would require a complete redesign of the navigation.

    5: The intranet structure and navigation are scalable and will allow for additional content areas to be added to the site. This includes adding new top-level sections of the site, as well as individual pages.









    2.9

    There are no broken links on the intranet

    Broken links cause frustration and result in a loss of trust in the intranet. They are the most obvious symptom of content authoring and maintenance problems, and should be avoided in all cases.

    This heuristic can be easily assessed through the use of a standard link-checking tool, and there are a number of free or commercial products available on the web. Content management systems (CMS) also typically provide extensive link management functionality.

    0: There are a large number of broken links on the site. Alternatively, prominent links (such as top-level sections) are broken. There are also a large number of broken links to external sites.

    5: There are no broken links on the site, either to internal or external locations. All links are validated on a regular basis.









    Total

    0

    Site structure and navigation (percentage score)

    0%



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    Site structure and navigation

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