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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Navigation Guidelines

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Here are some guidelines to keep in mind so your visitors can find the information they need, and accomplish the tasks you want them to do online.

  1. Remember your audience: Your website navigation isn't for your department staff, it's for your website visitors. If it doesn't make sense to them, it needs to be changed so it does.
  2. Be descriptive: use keywords (one or two) that are clear and intuitive to your audience.
    1. Help your visitors find what they're looking for by using natural groupings and subgroups. Every time they click a link that satisfies their hopes for success, they're more likely to pursue the search.
  3. Keep the number of top level links to four to nine (at most!): if you have 15 or 20 links in your top-level navigation, your visitors won't be able to scan the list, but will need to read it.
    1. Keep secondary list to five if possible.
    2. Remember, these are guidelines. If you must break them, make sure you've got a good reason.