Patterns for Designing Navigable Information Spaces


By: G. Rossi, D. Schwabe, F. Lyardet
Published in: PLoPD4
Pages: 445-460
Category: Hypermedia

Summary: For hypermedia in stand-alone applications, dynamic Web sites, or information systems.

Pattern: Set-based Navigation

Pages: 446-448

Hypermedia applications deal with collections of nodes that may be explored in different ways. Group nodes into meaningful sets, called navigational contexts, and provide inter- and intra-set navigation.

Pattern: Nodes in Context

Pages: 448-451

You're using Set-based Navigation. To allow the same node to be reached by different paths and reflect different perspectives, let the node appear in different navigational contexts. Modify its appearance and connections to other nodes according to the current context.

Pattern: Active Reference

Pages: 451-454

In hypermedia applications, users need to know where they are and decide where to go next. Use one navigational object as an index to other navigational objects. This object is perceivable together with target objects, allowing users to explore those objects or select another target.

Pattern: News

Pages: 454-455

The information space of most large Web sites is hardly ever navigated by users. Highlight the newest information, for example, a headline that changes to reflect the latest update.

Pattern: Landmark

Pages: 455-457

You're building a Web-Information System for electronic shopping. If you explicitly specify a navigational link between every pair of navigation objects, you'll have a complex spaghetti-like topology. Define a set of landmarks accessible from every node. The interface of links to a landmark should be uniform to give users consistent visual clues about the landmark.

Pattern: Basket

Pages: 457-459

You want to keep track of user selections in an e-commerce Web site. Ask the user to select products to buy as they are traversed. Provide a persistent store for these items (e.g., a basket) to be accessed like any other navigation object.