|LESSON INTRO | IT 3240 COURSE HOME | LESSON 1 | LESSON 2 | LESSON 3 | LESSON 4|
(Lesson 3 of 4)
In our previous lesson, you learned about how to use the elements and principles of visual design to create effective websites. However, even though a site may look good, that doesn't mean it functions very well. One of the major areas for concern in site design are usability issues. This lesson looks at the designer's role in creating navigation structures for the site.
Have you ever wandered aimlessly about a site searching for the specific information you're searching for? If you're lucky, the designer may have provided a search engine for the site. However, when sites are designed to provide instruction, this feature is often not included. How then, are you, the student, going to find out where to go and make sure you've covered all the information you need to learn? Can you exit the site easily? Can you find your way back home? Are you caught in a loop of pages from which you can't escape? Can you tell how many more links you need to click on? Can you tell exactly what the next topic is? Can you reach any topic easily? Can you tell which sections of information are the most important? Can you easily tell if information is arranged so that related content is apparent?
These are some of the issues faced by the web designer when creating a site meant primarily to teach. While some applications such as WebCT and Blackboard provide tools to help avoid some of the confusion on sites, not everyone has access to these tools. What then? The consequences of ignoring these issues when creating the site's navigation structure lead to a frustrated, sometimes angry student, lessened amounts of learning, possibly lowered self-esteem, and a generally poor attitude toward on-line learning.
So...let's take a look at why some of these things occur and what we can do to avoid being "lost in cyberspace"! We'll look at some of the "do's & don'ts" and different ways they can be achieved.
By the end of this lesson you will be able to:
Lesson 3: Lesson Introduction