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The second URL provides a lot more information to the user than the first one does. As
an added bonus, you can set up your site so that the user can take camry.html off the end
and get a list of all Toyota models for 2009, or take toyota/2009/camry.html off the
end and get a list of all car makes discussed on the site. Veteran web users are accus-
tomed to dealing with URLs; you should help them out as much as you can by using
URLs responsibly.
Navigation Provides Context
The key purpose of navigation is obviously to enable your users to get from one place to
another within your site. However, its secondary purpose is to let your users know where
they are within the site. This was the stroke of genius behind Yahoo!'s introduction of
“breadcrumb” navigation in its directory. Take a look at the screenshot from Yahoo!'s
directory in Figure 19.1.
A page from
Yahoo!'s directory.
Near the top, you can see a list of links that start at the top of the directory and lead
down to the page that I'm actually on. The first thing it does is give me the ability to go
back to any level of the directory between the home page and the Cascading Style Sheets
page that I'm actually on. The second thing it does is let me know that I'm six levels into
the directory, and that the page I'm on is part of the Arts category of the directory, and
all the subcategories between that category and the page that I'm on. That's a lot of util-
ity packed into a small feature.
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