Usability Engineering 101

On Webmasterbase, Nicky Danino provides some HCI principles for building successful navigation schemes. Brilliant graphics and tons of nifty little utilities are no replacement for usable navigation. No matter how good the site looks, it will be useless unless you give your visitor a viable system to get around your site. A well thought out navigation system will make an impression on the visitors to your site and if your content is good enough, visitors will return to your site again and again. We know that good navigation is essential to the success of a website, but what exactly does the term mean? There are some fundamental principles that successful navigation is built upon which you should take into consideration at the design stage, BEFORE actually writing any HTML. There are no right or wrong answers to achieving a successful navigation system, only happy or frustrated users. However, there are some basic principles which seem to work on the whole.