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image maps as navigation
Image maps are single graphics which have "hotspot"
areas on them which are links and correspond to different
pages in the web site.
- If you use image maps as navigation, as with graphical
navigation, try to ensure you provide textual links
in addition to the image map
- This is so people with graphics switched off in
their browsers can see the links, and visually impaired
people can use a speech synthesizer to follow
the links accurately.
- Try to use client-side image maps, which use html
to determine the link "hotspot" and can
have alt text defined for each area, this makes it
much more user-friendly.
- Server-side image maps are harder to use
as the link destination can change frequently and no alt
text can be determined.
- Try to make sure you provide a visual means whereby
visitors can see which
section of the site they are in, rather than use a single,
static image map
as the navigation on all pages.
- For example, Amazon (http://www.amazon.com),
uses several image maps for its tab-based
navigation. Each time the visitor clicks on a tab
and visits a
different section of the web site, the image map
changes to show the current section having
a different colored tab visible.
- Tab-based navigation is fairly user-friendly
as long as you clearly show
visitors which section they are currently in.
- If you use tabs, such as Amazon (http://www.amazon.com),
make sure they look like real tabs (i.e.
as you would find in an office). Visitors understand
- The main disadvantage of image maps is that it's
difficult for the visitor to see where they have already
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