Sitemaps and site indexes are forms of supplemental navigation. They give users a way to navigate a site without having to use the global navigation. By providing a way to visualize and understand the layout and structure of the site, a sitemap can help a lost or confused user find her way.
Over the coming months and years, RIAs will move from cutting edge to mainstream. That transformation will accelerate with the Flash and user experience communities working together to understand and develop best practices and shared knowledge.
One of the defining elements of web applications is their support for the editing and manipulation of stored data. Unlike the typical conversation that goes on between a user and a content-centric website however, this additional capability requires a more robust dialog between user and application.
As users and builders demand more and more richness from the Web, we need to re-evaluate the technology that 99% of it is built on. It seems no matter how sophisticated our back ends get, the front ends remain stagnant. What other options are there? What are the requirements that we as user experience designers face that newer technologies miss the boat on?
What distinguishes a web application from a traditional, content-based website and what are some of the unique design challenges associated with web applications? A reasonable launching point is the more fundamental question, “What is an application?”
Despite predictions to the contrary, it doesn’t seem that the advent of networked information sharing has reduced human consumption of paper. In fact, given the amount of printouts modern offices and homes produce, one is inclined to say that even MORE paper is generated today than ever before.
In 1949, Herbert Bayer, the Austrian graphic designer who taught at the famed Bauhaus, embarked on an incredible information design challenge. The “World Geo-Graphic Atlas” (1953) is a benchmark example of information design, fusing vibrant data-intensive displays with a strong multicultural and environmental message.
Maps are one of the most basic (and informative) infographics. The simple map. A rectangle with a few lines, some labels, and an X can impart what it would take hundreds of words to describe. Lee McCormack offers an insightful look into how to create a simple but informative infographic —the map.
Indexes are important information-finding tools that can enhance usability. Site indexes provide direct, easily scannable links to meaningful, yet highly granular, chunks of content. But there’s more to them than people often assume.