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the good life in a digital age

navigation patterns on charity websites

We’re moving onto a relaunch of the RNIB website. Work started (and paused) before I joined the RNIB so I’ve inherited a proposed new navigation structure.

To put the proposals in context I’ve been analysing typical navigation and tool bars on 18 charity websites. There seems to be a reasonably typical pattern of one main navigation bar, a secondary navigation bar and a utility toolbar which is often but not always in the footer.

The pattern for each bar is roughly as follows:

Main ‘charity’ bar
About UsGet AdviceLearn AboutDonateGet InvolvedNewsProfessionals resourcesShop

Extra ‘special audiences’ bar
For Children & TeachersMediaJobs

Utility bar
AccessibilityContact UsHelpPrivacyTerms & conditionsSite map Global/associate sites

The terminology on the charity bar is usually tailored to the charity’s main area of activity e.g rather than Get Advice it might be Health Advice. The charity bar also occasionally included a key scheme and a link to local services but these weren’t common enough to make the cut for my pattern.  The special audiences bar is an interesting feature that seemed common on the sites.

(Charities covered: Oxfam, Christian Aid, Amnesty, Save the Children, Action Aid, Guide Dogs, Action for Blind People, Cancer Research, British Heart Foundation, Blood Pressure UK , Help the Aged, Action for Children, Barnados, Mencap, National Autism Society, Leonard Cheshire, Shelter and St Mungos)

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Written by Karen

February 3rd, 2009 at 2:30 pm