Skip Navigation links are importantWritten by John S. Britsios
Skip Navigation Links are Important
Providing links that allow user to skip directly to content, bypassing navigation, enhances accessibility of your web site. This is recommended for blind or visually impaired users, people who use screen readers, and also for text-browsers, mobile phones and PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants). These links are common on most US, UK, Irish, and other government websites, as well as many universities and private organizations.
From accessibility and usability point of view, it is recommended that you make such links visible. Why?
In his article titled "Providing Skip Links", Frank Gayne of frontend.com explains:
"Skip links would be useful for people who cannot easily use a mouse. Many of these people depend on tabbing in order to make progress through an interface and might appreciate a skip links feature to lighten amount of work they have to do. If there is no visible focus to let these people know they have hit a link, then this useful feature is lost to them."
How can you build such links? Immediately after logo of your web site, insert skip link: Skip over navigation. Does link have to go after logo? Many web sites have Skip navigation or Skip to main content links before logo of page, but a logo is precursor of a web page. It lets user know what website he/she is on.
Why usability is important to youWritten by John S. Britsios
Usability is measure of quality of a user's experience when interacting with a product or system - whether a web site, software application, mobile technology, or any user-operated device.
According to Usability Expert Jakob Nielsen: "On Web, usability is a necessary condition for survival. If a web site is difficult to use, people leave. If homepage fails to clearly state what a company offers and what users can do on site, people leave. If users get lost on a web site, they leave. If a web site's information is hard to read or doesn't answer users' key questions, they leave. Note a pattern here? There's no such thing as a user reading a web site manual or otherwise spending much time trying to figure out an interface. There are plenty of other web sites available; leaving is first line of defense when users encounter a difficulty." More: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20030825.html
What is usability
Is your web site usable? There are several definitions for usability, but basically following 4 characteristics can be considered usable:
* Quick and easy to learn; * Efficient to use; * Allows rapid recovery from errors; * Easy to remember;
Does your product or web site have above characteristics? Usability increases benefits for both parties: User (potential customers) and Provider (yourself).
Users benefits from usability * Users are satisfied, not frustrated, with product or web site; * They enjoy interacting with web site or product; * They achieve their goals effectively and efficiently; * They cultivate confidence and trust in product or web site.