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the good life in a digital age

TED wins navigation Webby

TED.com just won a Webby for best navigation.

Now TED is a great site to while away hours with and still feel like you are improving yourself. I’ve spent lots of time there and I’d be struck by the navigation but not always in an entirely approving way. As with most new and exciting attempts at navigation there’s something fun about it and also something kind of irritating when you need to get something done.


  • traditional but useful text-based left nav combined with the more attention grabbing main content
  • lots and lots of different ways to slice the content – themes, tags, speakers, popularity, most inspiring and so on
  • choice of list or ‘visualisation’ view


  • in the ‘visualisation’ view, the mouseover interaction gets in the way. If I try to select a promo in the middle of screen but move a little too slowly then the promos I am passing over pop up and obscure the one I’m trying to get to.
  • illustrating sub-categories with pictures of individual speakers. Takes a while to realise that if you click on that big promo with a picture of Jane Goodall you get taken to another index with 36 talks on the topic ‘inspired by nature’ and not straight to the Goodall talk.
  • surprisingly low-key use of the tags. No tag browse on the homepage or the themes pages (where I can really see value for drilling down further with them)

But going back and playing with it some more I think all in all that the good outweighs the bad. Would like to see that mouseover sorted though. It is a bit too much like the problems I have with the Windows Start menu(!)

Written by Karen

June 15th, 2008 at 9:29 am