Meaning of Consistency

What is the Meaning of Consistency?

Noun: Inflected forms: pl. con.sis.ten.cies
1a. Agreement or logical coherence among things or parts:
a rambling argument that lacked any consistency.
b. Correspondence among related aspects; compatibility:
questioned the consistency of the administration's actions with its stated policy.

2. Reliability or uniformity of successive results or events:
The baseball pitcher pitched with remarkable consistency throughout the season.

3. Degree of density, firmness, or viscosity:
beat the mixture to the consistency of soft butter.

- above explanation is from a common, everyday dictionary -

How You Can Be Consistent?

Consistency is Key:

Even if your design is just about right, the consistency of your navigation will make or break your site and it's performance.

1- Consistent placement of the navigation on the pages so that users can find what they are looking for.

2- Consistent division of material into the navigational categories so they can learn where to find what they are looking for.

3- Consistent display of all navigational elements regardless of position within the site

Some would think those 3 to be obvious, but these are common mistakes made by unaware webmasters, also including:

1- Moving the navigation around to suit the page layout.

2- Arranging material in the categories the way the designer understands them rather than the way a user does.

3- Doing "helpful" things like removing icons/text that represent the area in which one is currently navigating.

Be Easy, not Difficult:
People don't spend a lot of time learning their own VCR's, which they have paid hundreds of dollars for. So how much time do you think they are going to be willing to spend learning how to navigate your site? NONE! So if you use icons, pictures, weird named links, don't make the mistake of assuming that they will be understood by everyone. Because they won't be FULLY understood, if at all. Text labels for icons and pictures, clean worded text and button or tab links will let the user know exactly where they are going. BE CLEAR!!

1- Don't use icons without some type of explanation.

2- Don't rely on cute/vague/mysterious/cool labels for categories,and don't rely on drop-down, folding, jumpbox menus and other senseless navigation's

3- However... if your site isn't designed for the average audience, but instead to a select group, you might be able to break all three of these rules, it still has to be CLEAR!

Support your Visitor:
In order for you to know what is appropriate for your site, you must know what the visitor's goals are going to be for coming to your site. It is impossible to know what everyone will want, but you can make some type of educated guess and layout the Navigation accordingly.

A good rule of thumb:
Design your Navigation for a 4 year old. Clean, easy and no spills.

Be Smart:
Good navigation must be must be that.. GOOD! Don't link anything that isn't finished or even built yet. Visitors/Customers hate seeing "Under Construction" or "Page Not Found". It's annoying and a good sign of a rookie. Don't look like a rookie even if you are one. Look BIG to be BIG!

Text Boxes:
Should be located in the same spot on all pages and the font face, size and colors should be formatted the same to create a uniformed look. Each page should carry a thought, message, or a direct reference to the title of the page.

Example: If a page is about HOTDOGS, mention only hotdog's. Don't throw thoughts about in sneakers (unless it's part of a joke).

All beginning and ending borders should be in a uniformed position (left to right), Length, width, color and type as the page before. Some borders like ones in between objects should also be carried over to other pages if needed.

A picture may not follow the basic consistent layout exactly, but it does follow. They will carry the idea of the site, or page, evenly and be placed in similar areas as the pictures on other pages. They will also be placed close to the best paragraph it describes.

Should be a direct match to your web site and sit in the same location on every main page. (pop up boxes, pop up windows excluded)

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