Website Writing Guide
Web writing and presentation style
Web page navigation
If the content on a Web page stretches down the page and out of sight, thereby requiring users to scroll down, you may need to provide in-page navigation. In-page navigation usually appears at the top of a page and lists all the headings used in the page with hyperlinks taking users down to each heading. An example of this is the Accessible writing and presentation section in this Guide.
See - Organise the content for guidelines about when to split content across many pages and when to keep it all on the one page.
When to provide in-page navigation
You may need to provide in-page navigation when one or more of these conditions prevail:
- the page contains headings that are out of sight, below the fold in the screen
- it is important or helpful for the user to see at a quick glance all the topics covered on the page
- it would assist users to understand the breadth of content on the page and the context of each heading in relation to the other headings
- if users might get lost or forget some of the headings if left simply to scroll up and down the page
- if users don’t need to read all the information on the page – eg some content is relevant only to households and some relevant only to businesses.
How to employ in-page navigation
- Provide the headings at the top of the page with a brief lead-in sentence that makes it clear that the list of headings refers to content on this one Web page – ie they are not links off to other pages.
- The hyperlinked headings do not require bullet points unless they represent a step-by-step process or a sequence in which case number the headings
- Provide users with a ‘return to top of page’ hyperlink device that enables them to return to the top of the page without the need for scrolling. The hyperlink device should be placed immediately underneath the last line of text under every heading that appears below the first fold in the screen.
- There is no need to provide a ‘return to top of page’ hyperlink for the first or second section if the user can still see the top of the screen.