Navigation

I now have a Nokia 3100. There is a bit of story to that, which I will elaborate on, in another post.

After reading through several papers such as Virpi Roto‘s work about Navigation, I must post about navigating web pages.

Now seeing Google’s new user interface and noticing dmoz’s directory not listed directly there, it only encourages me to blurt out that everyone simply searches. They do not browse through a zillion categories, especially on the stiff mobile keypad.

For me navigation (tried to get order here) is:

  1. Google
  2. User agent's back and forward buttons
  3. Good URI design and hackability
  4. User agent's PGDN and PGUP
  5. User agent's Bookmarks
  6. User agent's Type ahead find
  7. rss2email's Syndication methods (site feeds, blogs, rss, atom)
  8. User agent's site navigation toolbar using link elements

And these should work just fine on a mobile device too, except perhaps Type Ahead Find ;). Well designed sites make use of access keys which I would probably make use of on a mobile, but wouldn’t bother with on a desktop. Anyway, I hope you can see the stress on the User Agent(UA) for navigation, also known as the XHTML browser.

UAs are the root of all evil, creating a plethora of bad web pages.

The XHTML browser on my Nokia does not bind back and forward to the logical left and right cursors. Back/Forward broken on the user agent level… a new low.

As for knowing where you are, show the URI. This is what my Nokia does very badly. Show me the URI! Marquee it if you have to !

It's my belief atm that a good web service should be designed around excellent URIs.

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