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home > usability > consistency


  • Make sure you keep navigation and design elements in a consistent location
    throughout the site
    • Keep the logo, navigation elements, headings and common textual elements in the same position on all pages
    • Helps usability because visitors will only have to "learn" where the
      position of these elements are once.
      • They will expect it to be in the same location, look the same and behave the same - if it doesn't, they will have to relearn how to use it.
        • Relearning will delay their use of your web site and can be frustrating. Frustrated visitors often don't return.
  • Try to keep consistent with other web sites to further help your visitors
    • Many sites place their logo in the top left corner
    • Another common "web standard" is to keep unvisited links blue and visited links red/purple
  • Keep font styles the same across the site
  • If you use color as a visual clue to navigation, keep the colors consistent
    • Always provide alternative means for determining navigation clues
  • Links should be underlined and have consistent colors for unvisited, visited etc.
  • Provide a clue as to whether a link is within the site, or will take the user to a different site or a mailto link
    • e.g. On this site, external links contain the full address, starting http://