All members of the public should be able to use your website regardless of their level of experience in using the web or the device/operating system they use. The following guidance aims to help make navigation easier to use and access for everyone.
A fully accessible site should have no applications that depend only on a mouse or similar cursor control.
Consistent and well laid out content makes it easier for the person to navigate and find the content that they are looking for.
The layout, structure and colour of the content should be consistent to make information easier to find. The exception for consistent formatting/layout may be the homepage if necessary.
The positioning and appearance of recurring items, such as the logo, navigation bar and headings should be consistent throughout.
Provide a link back to the homepage from every page.
Use clear navigation bars that are distinguishable from the content.
The navigation bar should clearly identify where the person is on the website. This can be done by highlighting the person’s current location on the navigation bar, and by disabling the link to the current page.
Webpages, applications and online interfaces should be intuitive and predictable in how they operate. Websites typically have a set structure. This helps people to easily find information and navigate new websites.
Your website should be easy and intuitive to use for members of the public. Examples of established website features, which make navigation more intuitive to use, include:
Website navigation Checklist
Web content and applications should be usable by the widest variety of browsers, devices and assistive technologies by using fluid design and relative widths. (Note: Talk to your web designer about ‘responsive websites’).
The Centre of Excellence in Universal Design (CEUD) provides information on navigational aids
For further information on page structure, see section 2.2 in CEUD’s ‘Universal Design Guidance for Online Public Services’ (2012).