Web Essays by Simon Windisch - Can websites be categorised into visual genres
Web Essays by Simon Windisch - Can websites be categorised into visual genres Web Essays by Simon Windisch - Can websites be categorised into visual genres Web Essays by Simon Windisch - Can websites be categorised into visual genres Web Essays by Simon Windisch - Can websites be categorised into visual genres
Web Essays by Simon Windisch - Can websites be categorised into visual genres
 
 

Navigational metaphors

Navigation is aided by the use of metaphors.

Physical metaphors

Figure 7: Click to enlargeWebsite buttons are metaphors for physical buttons, perhaps of a cassette player (fast forward, stop etc.) or a computer keyboard. Figure 7 shows four examples of website buttons that use physical metaphors. (1) Shows a simple 3-D button array. (2) Shows a radio metaphor. (3) Shows another radio, more stylised. (4) Shows buttons that look like metal studs.

 

Websites that use tabs as a navigational device refer to the card index as a metaphor. See Figure 8

Figure 8

Associative metaphors

Figure 9: Click to enlargeThe shopping cart icon is associated with the act of placing your goods into a trolley or bag. See Figure 9.

It should be noted that these icons are not uniform. There is a disparity between shopping bag and shopping trolley (cart) icons. Many e-commerce websites use either non-graphical links to the shopping cart area, or do not use the metaphor at all.

Other associative metaphors include the house icon, which associates the user with the home page. The magnifying glass is used as a metaphor for the act of searching and is also an operating system metaphor.

Operating system metaphors

Metaphors borrowed from graphical user interfaces include the file structure (perhaps used in a navigational environment), pull down menus and icons (including the envelope for sending e-mail, and a printer icon for printing a page). Web browsers also use some of these metaphors.

Other metaphors include ways of denoting a list. These include bullets, arrows or chevrons.