The hyperlink has been a staple of the Internet since it began. The Web simply wouldn’t be a web at all if we didn’t link from one web page to another. Links make the Web work.
So it would make sense to put a lot of time and effort into how we design our links and navigation systems.
But, this isn’t always the case. Oftentimes, we shortchange the information architecture phase of a site build and fall back to one of the few tried-and-true design patterns — a canned template — for designing site navigation.
Back in 1954, psychologist Paul Fitts published an article the detailed his theory on human mechanics as it pertained to aimed movement. It was Fitts’ observation that the action of pointing to or tapping an target object could be measured and predicted mathematically.
Fitts stated that the size of the target object along with its distance from the starting location could be directly measured, allowing him to model the ease at which a person could perform the same action with a different target object.
Web designers are constantly learning and evolving. The web design community, relative to other professional communities, is young and hungry to learn. These are — more often than not — great characteristics of an industry that strives to progress and innovate.
However, being young and being hungry for knowledge also fuels unfair snap judgments about the value of the work and learning material being put out there. So often, I see a new blog post or news story that results in a polarized debate instead of an informative conversation that can push an idea forward.
Web design and development blogs are always full of advice and constructive discussions. The mission of these blogs is to help the community stay informed.
One such informative article that a fellow Six Revisions writer of mine wrote recently is about the strategies involved in avoiding bad clients. Many other Six Revisions writers have tackled this concept with articles that discuss how to avoid project disasters, how to handle difficult client situations, and things we shouldn’t tolerate in design projects, all circling back to the notion that it’s just best to avoid “bad” clients.
In the past few months, there has been a lot of talk around modern web browsers (Firefox 4, Chrome, IE9, etc.). The software application we use to navigate to our favorite websites is seeing tremendous attention, increased competition amongst its vendors, and advancements in its features.