Navigation: let the browser do the menus

Now that Mozilla supports the LINK element for navigation, it is time to let the browser do what it was meant for: helping the user to navigate.

Many pages on the Web have navigation menus, which help the user find other pages on the site. These menus have links that are visually distinguished from the links in the body of the page, because designers intuitively recognize that they serve a different purpose. The links in the body are hypertext-like and serve to refine the information. The links in the menus are navigation links that show (a partial view of) the structure of the site.

Some designers may not like it, but for the users it would be great if such menus were not put in the page, but put in the document's head, from where the browser would construct a menu, as Mozilla and lynx already do. Such a menu would therefore look consistent across sites, greatly helping the user. It also helps to reduce the visual complexity of the body of the page and it saves space.

Bert Bos
Created 7 August 2002