Website Navigation and Development Plan
Website success main part is the website navigation. Various parts of the content gateway are the website navigation. If the site does not have some sort of navigation, then it will lose all sense of structure and organization. The main thing is the access of your website from anywhere which is very important part of the success. The wonderful part of the website is to go to any page by clicking just two or three times and the main page access should be by one click. On one side of the screen there should be navigation bar. A reader is able to gain immediate knowledge of the depth of a website simply from the navigation bar for that website. A navigation bar that is fully-featured intrigues the reader and assures them that there is much to do and see which, in turn, encourages them to further explore. The following features should be included in a website’s navigation: Finding the Navigation Toolbar Should Be Easy:
The most prominent feature of your design should be the navigation. In order to ensure that a reader can easily find the navigation bar, it is usually located across the top of the page. For instance, in the following figure, we show the navigation toolbar for MIT’s website. Aside from covering the bottom of the screen, it is also scattered all the way from the left side of the screen to the right. On the home page, the only view the user is able to get is of the navigation bar. From there, the user is able to go to different section of the university; for such large universities, this view is known as the grid view. In our case, each user is able to see our website differently. For example, students will see a website strictly for students and professors will see one for them while the staff members will see an entirely different one. From the home page, each user will be navigated to a separate log in page. This page will either allow the user to log in or take them back to the home page. Therefore, we have a navigation button at the top of the page which allows the user to easily see it.
Fig: Screenshot of MIT website
* Consistency Should Be Kept in Mind:
Navigation should be consistent. On each and every page of the website, it should appear in the same location; the same style, colors and font should be maintained. This will allow the users to get a feel for the website and familiarize with it. For example, consider the pages of our website given below; one shows the log in page while the other shows the register faculty page. Both have the exact same navigation bar at the top left corner of the page. This is how the user always looks at that corner of the page when he or she wants to navigate away from the page.
Fig: - Screenshot of login page of our website
* Use obvious section names: What lies behind the section names should be clearly stated in the names. General words, such “resources”, should be avoided for section names. Small descriptions should also be included in the section names, like on the MIT website. .
* Less is More: - Less is More: A user must only view the buttons he is supposed to see; therefore, don’t use too many navigation buttons and avoid clutter. Dividing the website in sections based on the different groups of users helps. Personal information must be sectioned: - Personal Information should be Sectioned: If personal information about the user is required, it should be properly divided into the type of information.
Based on the guidelines given above, on our homepage, the site is divided into sections in accordance with the type of user. There are three options: students, staff and faculty. They are directed to a register and a login page. From there on, they are navigated towards their respective home pages, which also contain a navigation bar. In the figures presented below, we show the navigation toolbars on the home pages of the University’s toolbar as well as profile pages of the faculty members. The navigation pages for the staff and students would not be much different.
Fig: - Navigation bar of home page
Fig: - Navigation bar of faculty profile page
Website Development tools:-
The following tools could be used for development of the website:- * Operating system: - LINUX or windows operating system could be used for the server machine. LINUX machines are usually faster than the windows machine, so preferably a Linux distribution such as ubuntu could be used for the server machine to host the website. * SQL server: - MySQL 5.x client and server package could be used for the purpose of storing the database. This software is available for Linux as well as windows. The installation in both operating systems is easy. * Web server: - a web server is required for hosting the web pages. For windows operating system “Microsoft web server” could be purchased or apache 2.2 web server which is free software could be used. The apache web server listens to requests at port number 80. For Linux machines, apache could be used. * Php: - php support is required for hosting the website. This could be done by configuring apache with php. It could be configured easily on both operating systems. * Xampp/ lampp: - this is a software tool which configures php, apache and mysql automatically. Xampp works for windows while lampp works for Linux. This is a free package and could be used easily. It also provides support for phpmy admin, which helps browsing the database through a web interface. * Adobe Photoshop: - This could be used to design the pictures, backgrounds etc to be used in the website. This tool works only with windows. * Flash: - this tool is used to make flash videos to be displayed on the websites (if required). This tool works only with windows. * Dreamweaver: - this tool helps in designing the web pages through already built in modules. This tool works only with windows. These are the basic tools that are required for the development of the website; some other tools could also be used for designing.
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