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Chapter 9. Web Site Usability and Accessibility > Orientation tools are helpful

Orientation tools are helpful

Orientation tools help users navigate the site, as well as tell them where they are, no matter what page they're on. A site map and breadcrumbs are two such tools:

  • A site map (or site index) is a page that lists the links to the pages of your site. It should mirror the navigation of the site and be presented in an outline style. Users find these to be helpful at some point, especially if the site is large. A site map is particularly helpful to visitors who have cognitive or memory disorders. Users can pinpoint the pages they need very easily with the birds‐eye view of the site that the map provides.

  • Breadcrumbs are a trail of links that show the user the path from the home page to the current page. Breadcrumbs are typically displayed at the top of the screen and look like this:

    Home >> About >> Our Products >> Widget

    Each of the words in the breadcrumb trail should be a link to that page so that a user can backtrack up the trail, if necessary. Just like Hansel and Gretel.


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