Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon


Navigation should anticipate where your user needs to go next.

There are two types of navigation that you can use on your site: Content Navigation and Sidebar Navigation

Content Navigation

The navigation that you provide in the body of the page is often the most important. Many users have a tenancy to first scan the content of a page, often overlooking other navigational elements. Your links should be clear and well defined:

  • Avoid linked images as the only path to a goal page. Our images do not show any hover or active state. If an image is a link, additional text link options should be provided.
  • Link text should be descriptive of the page it points to. Do not use "click here" as link text. Re-phrase the sentence if necessary to incorporate the link. Make sure the the link spans an appropriate number of characters. Notice how "allowed file type" is link below, rather then just the word "file" (or conversely, the entire sentence).

Sidebar Navigation

Sometimes you want a page with a navigation menu on the right hand sidebar, and sometimes you don't.

Sidebar navigations usually contain links to related content in the same site. They are especially recommended for sibling-level pages. Take this page's sidebar. It has links to sibling level pages (pages that are on the same level if you were to lay this website on an organizational tree diagram.)

I might not need or want a sidebar if the page is what we call an End page. That means the page would fall at the end of one of the organizational chart branches. The user has arrived where they intended to go and will not be jumping back and forth to other content on the site. Not having a sidebar gives me more room on the page.

How to Make the Sidebar Disappear

The website is a templated design, and there are two variations of the template.

  1. one-col (one column - no sidebar navigation)
  2. two-col (two column - includes sidebar navigation)

To Change the Variation of the Template

  1. Click on the Format menu and then Template Properties.menu for template variation
  2. You will get this Template Properties menu. Click on Layout. Now you can change the Layout in the field highlighted below. Enter in one-col if you don't want a sidebar and two-col if you want a sidebar navigation menu.template properties