Monday, December 28, 2009

Metaphorical Navigation

I let things slide during Christmas because I had so much to prepare for, but now I'm back.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone! I hope it's good for you.

I learned awhile back that people who rate websites think one of the worst layouts a website can have is to have metaphorical navigation. This peaked my interest so I poked around.

Metaphorical navigation is when, instead of normal underlined text or buttons to click on, the various links to other places in the site (or other websites) are objects or pictures.

I personally love those sites and think they're awesome but I guess they get a bad rep for taking a long time to load. And for sometimes being tricky to figure out which object leads to what. (Does clicking on the magnifying glass take me to a page about Scotland Yard or to a handy search engine?)

This leads me to three things:

1. The best metaphorical navigation site I've seen is this one. You've probably heard of the Ology series books which are known for thinking outside the box and being creative with layouts. Their website is no exception.

2. As long as I'm talking about Ology books, I have an upcoming project I want to show you all. It's been a lot of fun and I've wanted so badly to tell you about it but it was a Christmas gift for three people who read this blog regularly so I've had to keep quiet until now. I won't go into details yet, but this project was inspired mostly by the Ology books and a few others. If you haven't checked them out yet, and if you're in a tough spot creatively, they just might add the extra creative juice you've been needing. Hint.

3. When making outlines for novel writing, we are all trying to navigate our own story. Figuring out where the plot goes, where the characters go, etc. So why not make a metaphorical navigation? I've begun outlining one of my WIPs using Photoshop, but a large piece of paper and some colorful pens could work too. Take a look at this for some idea of how it could be done. I've never tried this before so I don't know if it will help, but it sure looks like a lot of fun.

Happy Writing Everyone!

PS Do you have any New Year's Resolutions, writing related or no?


  1. Interesting... I checked out the site, and I think I agree with you. It seems pretty cool! At the same time, I can understand why people might not like it much, as it could take some time to load and is rather visual.

    My new years resolution is simple; Write simpler! Lol, when I write, I have a tendency to use many complex and compound sentences, as well as a lot of complected vocabulary. I've gotten a lot of feedback from my teacher telling me to simplify my writing so they can understand me. So that's what I'm going to try to do in 2010 (and always!).

  2. Okay, link at No. 3 "When making outlines..." just scared the pee out of me. :-)

    Do outlines really look like that?

    Think I'll go with a simpler single hearbeat chart or something. Thanks for the links!

  3. Good goal, Gracia. A year from now it'll be interesting to look back on your writing and compare to see the difference.

    GhostFolk, welcome! Lol. I totally understand what you mean. Let me know, if you want, what kind of outline you end up settling with. I'd love to see it.

  4. I can understand why people might not like it much, as it could take some time to load and is rather visual.

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