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Navigating Novell's Web Site Effectively

Articles and Tips: tip

Robert Rodriguez
Research Engineer
Novell, Inc.
rjrodrig@novell.com

01 Aug 2003


Novell has a huge, complex website. In fact, just about everything that Novell does is on the web. So how does anyone find a specific page, document or file on something so big--especially when someone doesn't know exactly what they're looking for? This article will take a look at the different types of pages on http://www.novell.com and what kind of information you can expect to find on them. Future articles will look at how Novell's Web site is organized and how to use the menu system.

Basic Page Styles

Before any discussion of menus and organization, it is important to know about the basic page templates used in Novell. There are basically four types of pages.

Tier 1. The first type of page is the "Novell Home page" (see Figure 1).

This template is used for http://www.novell.com and nowhere else in Novell. In truth, this is primarily a marketing page and we don't mean marketing in a bad way, because this is the page first-time visitors see. This page contains information about the company, news and special offers. Like all other Novell pages, it has the top navigation bar which we will discuss in detail in a later article.

Tier 2. The second type of page is the "Top Level Home page" (see Figure 2) .

The Top Level Home page.

Pages using this template correspond to the links on the Top Navigation Bar:

  • Company

  • Solutions

  • Products

  • Training

  • Support

  • Partners

  • Developers.

The page type has three columns:

  • Column one is a customer quote.

  • Column two has descriptions and links to content related to the pages's topic.

  • Column three is related news, promotions, and items of interest.

Obviously the most important area on these pages is the center or second column. These are the links that allow a customer to drill deeper into the topic. Just about everything in this center column is a link.

Tier 3 . The third level page is called a "Subject Home page". These pages correspond to specific products or topics such as NetWare or the AppNotes home page (see Figure 3).

The Subject Home page.

These pages have two or three columns, depending on the amount of material that they cover:

  • Column one is navigation

  • Column two is a description of the topic and links to that content.

  • If there is a column three, it contains information similar to the third column in Tier2 pages.

These pages introduce the left-side navigation. This navigation bar is specific to the subsite. It generally doesn't have links that go "up" the website and it is usually specific to the topic covered by the page. The left navigation will be present for all pages under the Subject Home page (although the links can sometimes change).

Column two usually contains links that drill deeper into the site, but sometimes there is also general content. For example, the AppNotes home page ( http://developer.novell.com/research) contains links to all the current articles and the left navigation provides access to archives, ebooks and feedback.

Tier 4. These are "Content pages." This is the template that contains all the information (see Figure 4).

The Content Page.

These pages are very similar to the Tier3 pages. They have the same left navigation and may have links in the content to other areas. However, they always primarily deal in the subject matter.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


Disclaimer

The origin of this information may be internal or external to Novell. While Novell makes all reasonable efforts to verify this information, Novell does not make explicit or implied claims to its validity.

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