Standards for Navigation Menus

February 1, 2019

The Office of Communications is continuously developing standards for local navigation on the UNBC website. This includes the menus on the left panel of each section. We look at things such as terminology that makes sense to the user, placement of links that are common across sections, and content that does not belong in the menu.

Linking to content outside of UNBC

Menus on the UNBC website are intended to help the user find content within the UNBC website. We are currently limited in our ability to indicate if a link in the menu will take the user to content outside of the UNBC website. This can result in a website visitor "bouncing" from their user session. In addition, we have no control over the functionality of the external link.

By including external links in the body of web pages rather than in the menus, it also makes it easier for our web editors to maintain these links should they change.

We recommend that a brief description of what the user will find when they click on an external link be included wherever appropriate.

In summary:

  • Links to any content that is not hosted on the UNBC website should not be included in any local menu
  • Links to external content should be accessible in the body of web pages
  • Web pages that contain external links can be linked to from the local menus

Linking to files

In order to better track online assets and to keep navigation simple, files such as PDFs, Word documents, etc. will not be included as direct links from local menus. Some files on the website are updated frequently. When these files are included in the local menus, this presents a significant challenge in maintaining menu links as they each need to be updated manually.

In summary:

  • Links to files should only be included in the body of web pages. Local menus can link to web pages that contain links to files.