Consistency, ConSIStency, ConSisTENCY…

I have had a few debates lately with my colleagues about consistency. My view is that consistency is incredibly important in helping the user navigate around the website without getting lost, to which they all agree. 

However we have been debating to what extent consistency should be applied. Some have argued that all areas should be consistent throughout the site. However, I’m not convinced. If we look at the diagram, for me the logo and areas A, B and E should be consistent. Whereas, C could/should change to list the content in that section and area E should change to reflect the type of content. For example, if you have a website that has magazine type content it should be styled differently to that type of content that would suit a list if links.

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Too much consistency can make you feel lost as everything looks the same. Considering that users scan read web pages and don’t read everything, there should be something visually that will help the user identify one section from the next.

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4 Responses to “Consistency, ConSIStency, ConSisTENCY…”

  1. HERIYANDI Says:

    WELCOME TO BATAM

  2. Flo Says:

    What about the use of colors/images on a website to denote areas/sections?

    I think that both have their individual merits but, care should be taken so as not to confuse/detract from the content/message.

  3. sonyal1 Says:

    I have seen the use of colours to denote areas/sections and this can work quite well. One thing to becareful of is to ensure that you don’t use colour to convey information as this would go against accessibility guidelines as many people have some form of colour blindness. If you use colour it is important that you also ensure that each section is clearly labelled.

    One that doesn’t use different colours and one that I think works quite well is http://www.brighton.ac.uk

  4. Steph Says:

    I just wrote an article on consistency, this might be interesting to you:
    http://girldev.wordpress.com/2008/10/08/consistency/

    Nice job!
    Steph

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