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Chapter 9. Retrievability > Facilitate navigation and search

Facilitate navigation and search

As more information moves to the Web and more help systems are browser based, you need to pay particular attention to navigation and online searching. By providing good navigation, you enable users to move between topics and within pages and Web sites. Good navigation also keeps users oriented and aware of their current location. Search mechanisms are what most users rely on above all other methods to find information online. When you develop technical information, be aware of the mechanisms that are available in the system in which your information is delivered.

On all pages, provide navigational links, such as a link to a higher-level page, main or home page, or table of contents. For example, many Web sites and online help systems use a navigation pane, traditionally on the left, which remains no matter where the user goes within the same set of information. The navigation pane can be connected to the content area on the right, so that it scrolls out of view as the user scrolls down, or it can be separately scrollable, so that it always remains in view.


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