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WebStyler: What is `navigational shock'?

The most obvious form of navigational shock is a broken link---a hyperlink that leads to a nonexistent page. WebStyler will detect such errors, at least within ``our files'' (see `Building the directory tree'). But there is another type of navigational shock.

Suppose you followed a link with the text `How to weave a basket' and you arrived at a page entitled `Fungo Bats at Bay'. Wouldn't you be a little disoriented? To avoid this, Dr. Jon Price recommends that you use the same text for the link as the title of the page where the link goes.

In practice, though, avoiding navigational shock is a lot of work, especially once you start rewriting and restructuring pages. If you change a page title, you really ought to find all the links that refer to that page and change them as well. The cross-reference facilities of webcheck can help, but it still takes work. To ease this process, WebStyler allows you to code a link using a short, symbolic name for the page you're linking to, and automatically inserts the target page title as the link text.

Sometimes you'd like to rephrase the title a bit to make it flow more smoothly. For example, the link text might be `basket weaving', linking to a page called `How to weave a basket'. If the title is fairly close to the link text, the reader won't be surprised.

WebStyler allows you to use different link text than the destination page title. It will also, if you like, provide a report showing all such alternate link texts so you can compare them with the title and check for navigational shock.

See also: Dealing with navigation problems
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John Shipman,

Last updated: 1996/09/29 19:01:23