Navigation elements are meant to help users transition between different areas of a website with relative ease, and for providing orientation cues.
Guidelines for main navigation menus are as follows:
Left navigation menus provide an easy way for users to navigate within a section of a website.
Guidelines for left navigation menus are as follows:
Link target: All links in the left-hand navigation should open within the same browser window.
- Global terms such as "Home," "Sitemap," and "Contact" should never be used as standalone terms within a navigation menu, unless they will link to the home, sitemap, or contact pages for the overall site. References to these types of pages within a particular section should include the name of the specific section (i.e., "Conferences Home," "Contact IEEE Education Staff").
- Link text should match the page title of the page it links to.- Do not use acronyms.
These menus are applied to individual pages and sections of the site using the content management system (UCM). In UCM, these menus are approved and created by the Digital Innovations Team to ensure alignment and consistency with the information architecture of the site. Typically, every page on IEEE.org has a left navigation menu. Contact email@example.com if you have questions regarding exceptions.
Guidelines for right column content and navigation menus are as follows:
For IEEE.org contributors: This element is optional and can be created either globally (and applied dynamically to all content within a particular directory of the site) or applied to an individual file. Multiple right navigation modules can be created within a page.
Breadcrumb links aid users in knowing where they are in the site. The links should represent the hierarchical order of each section and always take the user through the shortest path to the home page.
All IEEE sites that are more than two levels deep must have breadcrumbs on lower level pages of the site.
On IEEE.org, breadcrumbs are controlled by the Digital Innovations Team.
- Links to HTML pages should open in the same browser window.
- Use plain language; never use "click here," "follow this link," or URL addresses.
- When appropriate, write action-oriented links that accurately describe the information at the destination page. This includes contact links.
Correct: "Find graphics approved for digital use in the IEEE Graphics Library."
Incorrect: "Here is a link to IEEE graphics" or "For IEEE graphics, click here."
- Embedded links should be used sparingly and should not interfere with the reading of information either on the computer screen or when printed.
Do not hard-code links to other IEEE.org pages. Instead, use the Link Wizard feature in UCM to "Link to a section" (for index pages) or "Link to a file" for all other pages and supporting files in UCM.
Within-page links should be used for longer pages with sections of content that fall below the fold of the page. These links have the following acceptable uses:
These links should not link to anchors on another page. Within-page links, if used, should follow general link styling guidelines.
External links are hyperlinks that point at any domain other than the origin domain (and its sub-domains). Inclusion of a limited number of carefully selected, relevant external links within an IEEE site is considered a best practice in most situations. Used properly, external links can help establish your expertise in a particular subject matter, create repeat visits, and build relationships with other industry leaders. The following guidelines should always be adhered to for external linking.
A redirect is a way to send both users and search engines to a different page/URL than the one originally requested. While redirects should be avoided as much as possible, reference the guidelines here to request/create a redirect.
Determining need for redirects:
The following instances may require redirects to be created:
Creating and maintaining effective redirects:
Supporting files supplement the content on your digital pages. Supporting files include PDFs, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and multimedia files.
Note that when it would better support the tasks of your users, content should be integrated into the HTML pages. Keeping usability in mind, follow these rules for supporting files:
- Include the time duration of Windows Media Video (WMV) multimedia files in parentheses as well. (Note: The size of the document can be found under "Properties.")
- Appropriate abbreviations are: DOC, PDF, XLS, PPT, WMV.