Dr. Web Weblog redesign comments
May 24, 2004 at 11:10 AM
There is a great thread that has been going for a while on the Dr. Web Weblog about the Digital Web Magazine redesign. It's in German so I have provided a English translation courtesy of Babblefish. I think thread has been one of the more constructive views I have seen so far about the redesign... and you have to admit, these Germans know how to design.
It's cool ze Germans have picked up on the redesign, but I'm curious how feedback like "...as in an old card index e.g. AC stands and in the thrust subject is sorted the record sheets with the riders A, B, C on the thrust subject." helps you out. :)
I *think* that person was talking about card sorting articles by topic.. maybe.. not 100% sure. Anyone in the house read German? :)
Well, something like that. The writer compares the navigation here to a card box. This means, he suggests the navigation should be done vice-versa. The main navigation points should be on the left while the tabs should carry the submenu. Just like it was done with cardboxes. The boxes' drawer was labelled with something general like "Find here all files starting with the letters A to C". Inside the drawer, all cards were labelled with tabs. So it was just a pictured comparison, meaning the navigation should have been done the other way round. Hopefully, you got the point and I didn't confuse you more ;)
yeah, i read german too "A relaunch is a dodgy affair, and afterwards, not everyone is happy. Digital Web Magazine has dared to do it. I would like to look not at the colours, layout, or standards, but rather at the previously uncommon navigation. Is it helpful?" Altavista and Google have slightly different translations, but both do a pretty average job. As they say, it loses a lot...
Thanks for the help translating that. I guess I haven't interacted with too many card boxes. One thing to point out is that web design does not, or at least should not, mimic objects in the physcial world. We saw a lot of web designers doing this in the late 90s with the "TV Remote Control" looking navigations... and then everyone quickly realized how crazy this was. A good navigation scheme is developed with two or more navigation types: a primary navigation (often leading across the top of the page), and a secondary navigation (typically leading down the left side of the page), and sometimes a tertiary navigation which can be found under the secondary navigation, under the primary navigation, or even mixed in but differenciated within the secondary navigation. Jesse James Garrett wrote a great article on the The Psychology of Navigation which goes into how links are interprited. There is also a great article on Examining User Expectations of the Location of Web Objects which really shows you "where users look and for what." There are also a whole ton of related articles here under the topic of navigation.