Information is what first of all attracts the visitor to your site. All remaining only helps to orient in it and to ease access. And from this point of view the very first question can be presented to web site - what actually are you for? What can you tell me that I don't know? What's make you better than other?
What group of people web-site is for?
Ask your self about it. For teenagers or for physicians? - Upon this question depend directly both site design and information necessary to put on the website. Keeping in mind a quota of the prospective visitors, try from their point of view to place menu items of your site in order of attractiveness for the visitor, not for the web-master. It could be rather difficult, but it is possible after starting of the site to check up a statistics of visiting different sections of the site and base on it correct the menu.
What information is about?
Is it about on-line publication of an article or statistical data, polemic of hot problem, or interview with a person?
Let's begin from the publication of a book to the Internet. Book is supposed to read from the beginning to the end (except dictionaries) - we get used to it, therefore and on the Internet we should put it so that it could be read from the beginning to the end. The hypertext allows organizing a table of contents as convenient link to the necessary section. But if a visitor reads everything consequently, then at the end of the page we have to provide link to the next page, do not forcing him to go back to the table of contents. Besides, in difference with the paper book, where you can see some references, in HTML document such references should be a link to a glossary or separate page.
When publishing scientific paper or hot material, there often responses and reviews are present. It would be good idea to put links to the reviews at the end of the article to allow the reader to be aware with all pros and cons.
Now consider a case, when we deal with statistical data. It is better to represent data in tables. And do you like long table? I don’t. Bring to the user only information he is interested in. If information doesn't fit in browser's window without horizontal scrolling, I suggest to break up a large table to a few easy understandable, and crosslink them (what hypertext is for). For a long table you can visually separate lines by changing color of, say, every fifth line (all modern browsers support this).
If your article or table takes more than five screens, place in the beginning the brief hyperlinked list of the subsections.
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