BIR Request - Improve Navigation

Improve Navigation

Currently (July 2011) the primary navigation within TRP is provided from the wiki home page HomePage_Wiki, which provides links to many of the major themes within the wiki. Some of these themes have their own home page, for example the DNA Groups HomePage_DNA_Groups. Secondary navigation within the site comes from the use of ((..|..)) wiki links to chain pages together and from the use of structures.

Space on the Wiki Home Page is limited, particularly "above the fold" (that area visible without scrolling). What should be added to the wiki home page and what should be removed to make room for it? What must be above the fold and what can be below it? What themes need their own home page or an additional index which allows the existing pages to be browsed differently.

If you have suggestions for improving the navigation within the site, please edit this page and add your ideas and name below.

ZZZ-MRB-Test012 contains one idea to provide an addition form of navigation within the site.

Martin 20 Jul 2011

Link to this experimental page removed 31 October 2011, when new left column menu launched
Martin 31 Oct 2011

26 Jul 2011

I believe I've suggested this before, but I'm going to throw it out there again - Move the menu currently listed in the left column to the bottom of the page as is done on practically every page of the Tiki Wiki site itself. A sample page just to view because this particular page has margin issues: http://themes.tiki.org/Eatlon

That way we would not have to completely remove the menu but the left side bar could be used for a listing of locations that are frequently accessed such as a listing of all the geographic areas with data - I constantly refer back to a state just to check to see what counties we've added and where we need to focus attention next, etc. List all the items currently at the bottom of the home page, i.e. Mentor Teams as a heading and with subheadings of A and B, DNA Group Main Page, etc.

The Tiki software seems to be geared toward having the menu at the bottom of the screen and/or on a side navigation bar. Let's try the bottom of the page and see if that can improve the navigation.

Also, I'm not sure what the "shout box" is on the right side of these Tiki pages, but I think we might be able to adapt that for communication.


All options available on the home page should be available via the sidebar instead. — Carolyn
Carolyn, I suspect this can be done, but in what form?
A simple (long) list? An alphabetical list or some other sequence?
Or in some form of hierarchy? If so how should the links be grouped and nested?

Also are there any pre-existing navigation pages not currently on the Wiki home which might be added to this new navigation concept?


Here's a sample site with options in the sidebar: Jardin botanique. Many other sample tiki sites are here: tikiwiki examples. Some of them have navigation in the sidebar; some of them don't. I think a hierarchical approach would be good, using the major groupings in the home page.

Since it may be difficult to locate this on the talk page, I'm including it in a comment as well.


One of the most comprehensive and easy to use Wiki sites is Familysearch.org. You can easily drill down from a country to a state to a county. For each country/state/county page there is an easy to use index on the left sidebar. They also employ clickable maps making the navigation even easier. Having said that, the Family Search site's homepage is not that easy, but once you get to the country/state sites it is really easy.

Their main page at https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Main_Page does not make it clear that you need to to click "List All Countries" to find the data. The "List All Countries" appears to be just an add-on to the page. When you click "List All Countries" you obviously get a list of countries. The real power comes next when you click a country. For example, if you click United States you get some basic information, but most importantly you get a map of states. Clicking on a State takes you to a page that in one place provides clickable links to all information related to that State.

I know that the Church of Latter Day Saints probably has a huge team of volunteer and paid developers, so I don't know that we can replicate their approach. However, I believe the site provides some useful ideas.

Richard, clickable maps is probably beyond my programming abilities and to even attempt it for just the English speaking countries and/or ex British Empire countries where the Reeves diaspora might be found would be a big undertaking. I'm also unsure of how it might be best implemented within the TW platform. If, in the future, anybody else wants to pick up this gauntlet, please let me know.

Early on Bev & I experimented with creating skeleton pages for all the SC counties and concluded that it was better only to create a page when there was meaningful content to add to it. Also doing it manually was a big upfront investment of time and some of the effort would never bare fruit. Yes pages could be created progammatically, but in doing so you risk the danger of not handling exceptions correctly. Familysearch has a classic example in my Reeves family's corner of Hampshire. The New Forest was one of many non-parochial areas in England and yet they have applied their "parish" template.

But in our humble way, I think TRP already embodies some of the other navigation techniques found on place pages within familysearch. For example, we ask that adjacent locations be listed on each state/county and county/parish page. Our State/County & County/Parish pages also have brief descriptive information and the overall structure provides a backtrack breadcrumb trail to navigate up.

But I agree with the main trust of your comment that we can and should learn from other sites. All, are there other examples (good or bad) we should note?


Left Column Content Navigation Menu

Once I'm done with getting the search engine related issues addressed, I'll direct my focus to creating this form of navigation. I'm happy I now know how to add a content related menu in the left column.

Unfortunately, the tw software doesn't seem to provide any wizard for building content related menus. Each link that we want included will need to be manually added. Since the menu functionality is only available to admin users and doesn't have the most friendly of user interfaces, I'll aim to create a regular wiki page first to get community feed back on exactly what we want to include and in what sequence.

More on this later.
Martin 27 July

Now Live - Left Column Content Navigation Menu

The new menu concept was introduced as planned on 31 October 2011.

See Changes to left Navigation Column
and How to use My Bookmarks

Status to be set to Closed

Martin 31 October

Status Closed       31Oct2011