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Authoring and Design for the WWW


The Heal Trust

Heal Trust Overview page
The site offers information about a distinctive medical charity. The client wanted to use a very large amount of text to explain the charity's policy. There is an assumption of a high level of commitment on the part of the user which may not be justified. The screen is perhaps not the right place to present extended text documents, though this can perhaps be countered by the fact that users can print out such text for reading from paper.

One of the tasks facing the designers was to make the large quantity of data manageable. Part of the approach adopted was to use five colour-coded sections.


In this site, the five major sections were similarly colour coded in the five buttons' in the top-left navigation panel frame and in the background colour of the main text frame. In this way, users can easily tell which section they are currently reading. However, since not all users will see colour, the cue is also reflected in the form of the recurrent symbol for each subsection which become visible in the top navigation bar.

Navigation controls

The use of frames provides an easy way of giving the user an overview of the site and means of getting to its various parts, independently of other frames which may change. In this site, two navigation bars one top left and the other across the top of the screen together provide means of reaching both sections and subsections of the site. This is more congenial for the user than multiple clicks to make hypertext jumps from one text to another (see diagram).

Where such controls are graphical as well as textual, users are assisted in remembering the sections which they have visited before by distinctive symbols and colours.

matrix diagram

The parts of the Heal Trust site form a matrix. Any part can be reached quickly using two sets of navigation controls which are always on screen

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