Well, everybody is doing it, so I may as well too.. time to get on the weblog bandwagon and put my thoughts down on the web for all and sundry’s approval/dismay. www.blogger.com is a truly amazing site… I can’t resist.
Eleganthack is supposed to be devoted to Information architecture (as opposed to devoted to my resume, as it is right now)
So, to start the dialog…
A while back there was an article on a study that showed men and women navigate cities differently. Men tended to use maps to form a cognitive model of a space, then expresses directions in this way “go south 1 mile,
then turn west for 2 miles…” Women however used landmarks for wayfinding “turn left at the red house, then right at the Denny’s..”
I never saw the original study, and I’d be curious to read it..
That said, I wonder how this can apply to wayfinding in information spaces. How, as web designers, can we create landmarks to assist navigation? How can we make our structures transparent so they can be used to navigate? Should
be design differently based on our understanding of our audience’s preferred navigation method?
A friend and I were discussing this over lunch, and we thought that breadcrumbs actually help both styles of wayfinding…
this both conveys a hierarchy and provides language that is vivid enough to act as a landmark.
Thoughts? Are there any studies/papers on this topic?