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HomeGuidelines > 6. Make meaningful menus!. > 6c. Offer multiple routes to the same information.          

 

Diagram

Background

Examples

Audience Fit

Challenges

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6c. Offer multiple routes to the same information.

  • Make multiple menus, for different audiences, or people with different purposes.
  • Offer shortcuts to popular items.
Multiple menus leading to the same items allow users to follow their own trails.

The same site can bring users to product descriptions through menus that let people identify their interests in different ways. For instance, an online music site allows you to browse menus showing

  • Different types of music
  • New items
  • Imports
  • Customer favorites
  • Highlighted specials

The same product may appear at the bottom of each of these menu chains.

  Diagram

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Background

Provide several different representations of the information. NCSA (1996)

The more access mechanisms, the better.Hoffman (1996)

Provide different site paths to facilitate different shopping strategies. Provide links to shopping pages from a variety of other pages and sites. IBM (1999)

You need to stop thinking of your Web pages as static files on a server and more like a collection of scripts and intelligent content that can figure out how to display itself correctly. Veen(2001)

See bibliography: Bushell (1995), Hoffman (1996), NCSA (1996), Veen (2001).

Examples

Original

Only one way to find a toy, by locating it under its type (dolls, models, games, so on): Products

Revised

8 ways to find a toy

  • Top 10
  • New Today
  • Order Ahead (Toys to Come)
  • Toys by Type
  • Favorite Characters
  • Toys for Every Age
  • Toys for an Occasion
  • Toys that Teach
  • Other ways to make your menus meaningful:

    6a. Think of a heading as an object you reuse many times.

    6b. Write each menu so it offers a meaningful structure.

    6d. Write and display several levels at once.

    6e. When users arrive at the target, make it obvious.

    6f. Confirm the location by showing its position in the hierarchy.

    Resources on menus

    Taking a Position on Menus

    Heuristic Online Text (H. O. T.) Evaluation of Menus

    Poster

     

    Audience Fit
     
    If visitors want... How well does this guideline apply?
    To have fun Multiple menus offer even more fun.
    To learn Yes, you can tailor menus to different learning styles, backgrounds, and interests.
    To act Good, because not everyone conceives of the task in the same way.
    To be aware Everyone is on an individual path, no?
    To get close to people Offering multiple menus is like lending your ear.  You're listening to your guests.

    Ready for some challenges?

     

    Don't make me take an ax to your menu!

     

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