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Jun 28 / Alexander Bienkowski

Zeroing in on the New Navigation

The past two weeks have provided us with a strong and much-needed injection of confidence. After creating rough sketches of the new navigation both on our white board and through the MindNode application, we’ve begun to zero in on the underlying user experience and create a comprehensive, detailed nav structure. Using a nifty online flowchart tool called Lucidchart, we can map out the navigation page by page and detail every unique page item.

LucidChart Navigation

We’ve determined that the focus of this new nav will be topic based, directing users — especially new ones — to browse by topic/subject of interest. But instead of laying out the abundance of relevant content all at once, we offer a more exploratory approach. We like to think that we’ll be telling a story in each subject area, where different pages follow a certain storyline which leads to an ultimate goal and/or call to action. In defining this new navigation, we’ve garnered a lot of inspiration from Duke University’s recently redesigned admissions site. We also plan to include an audience-based nav, which will offer quick and easy access to relevant resources and information for users with specific intentions who know exactly where they want to go.

It’s hard to realize the true potential of the Next when structuring the navigation. We’re constantly coming up with ideas for unique tools, UI nuances and design elements that we want to delve into, but that we know will lead us off track at the current stage. We like to call these our “magic sprinkles” (Credit Tom K).

We’ve defined a direction and are moving forward at a fast pace. Even though the summer sun heats up our confined corner office, it’s safe to say we’re actually excited to come into work and make this ever-evolving vision come to life.