Manuvigating a website

No, "manuvigating" is not a real word, even in the strange world of tech language. I first heard the word by a friend of mine, Les, when we were in college, many (ahem, many) years ago. What he meant was the ease of getting around.

In Les' case it was getting around the streets in an old, clunky car. Applying it to websites, it means navigating/maneuvering from one page to the next, figuring out where to go next and how you got there. This is sometimes called Usability (which can include easy to use for people who are blind, for instance, aka Accessibility) and/or UX ("User Experience" design).

It can also refer to the words on a page and how, through links, bullets, page names, paragraph heads, they direct the visitor to get the most out of the site.

Understanding how to perfect this is not the same as learning how to build a website. I started off learning how to build websites in "raw code," meaning no help from fancy tools to construct the pages – only the code. This was not easy but it had some rules you could follow and memorize.

Building a site with good navigation and presenting the content in a way that could be interpreted by a wide range of people requires being able to develop more nuanced skills – relying on the subtleties of the circumstances. These types of skills takes years of practice and getting lots of constructive feedback. 

The feedback is your friend, not your enemy no matter how hurtful to your ego it may be. Not only is feedback good for the web professional doing your site but for the owner to constantly monitor. Correcting some details you got terribly wrong could possibly help you make the sale, get hired for work, get a donation for your non profit. 

"A website is never finished" is a phrase I often use with clients. You may not want to keep working on the site after the initial development but think about asking friends and family to read through it from time to time, especially if you are often adding content and/or products. Consider that you may need to make corrections, even the problems have been there for years.

And let me know if you think this site could use some modifications. You can always reach me from my contact page.

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