When navigating a document, users ask the same questions as when they use a road map or city map. This includes:
▪questions about how to get somewhere (guidance)
▪questions about their own position (orientation)
Guidance and orientation are key factors of user experience. When guidance and orientation are good, users feel confident and satisfied. If guidance and orientation are poor, users feel lost, insecure, and frustrated.
The key questions that navigation needs to answer are:
▪Where am I?
▪What information can I find here?
▪How hard will it be to acquire this information? Will it be fun, or will it be tedious? Will it be simple, or will it be difficult? How long will it take?
▪Where should I go?
▪How do I get there?
▪Did I get all the relevant information, or did I miss anything important?
▪How do I get back to where I came from?
For beginners, navigation is often especially difficult:
▪Beginners often don’t know what a particular function or feature is called. This makes it hard to find the corresponding description.
▪Beginners are sometimes completely unaware that a particular feature even exists—yet they need to find it to be able to accomplish their goals.