Anatomy of a UVic site

Navigation mockup

Quick reference

  • Primary and sub-primary navigation (horizontal menus) contains links to top-level pages. They're usually audience or topic-based.
  • Secondary and sub-secondary navigation items (vertical menus on the left) are specific to a particular primary section, and are usually grouped by topic.
  • Tertiary navigation items (below the secondary menu on the left) usually appear throughout the site.
  • Navigation items should link only to pages within the site. They can't link to documents or other sites.

Download an image file with parts of a UVic webpage labelled.

Primary navigation refers to the main links that divide the site into targeted sections.

When looking at a UVic site on your computer, primary navigation is the horizontal menu at the top of the page.

On a mobile device, it's a drop-down menu that appears below Navigation.

  • Faculties and departments usually group the primary sections of their site by audience (Future students, Current students, Alumni, etc.).
  • Other units such as administrative units, research centres and conferences often use topic-based navigation (Program, Sessions, Publications, Events, etc).
  • On this site, the primary navigation is: Home, Your project, Site planning, Content strategy, Building your site, Social media.

Primary navigation on a UVic site

Primary navigation sometimes has sub-navigation items, which are called sub-primary.

They're often used to break a larger audience groups into more sections, such as separating Future students into Undergraduate and Graduate.

Note: Primary navigation should be limited to approximately four to six items to keep the site simple and user friendly. Sub-primary navigation should be limited to no more than six items.

Secondary and tertiary navigation on UVic sitesSecondary navigation shows items that are specific to a particular primary section.

When looking at a UVic site on your computer, this navigation is a blue, vertical menu on the left. On a mobile device, it's a series of grey tabs at the bottom of the page under In this section.

  • This navigation helps users find information by topic (Why Anthropology at UVic?, Apply now, Advising, Courses).
  • On this section of this site, the secondary navigation is Tips for navigation planning, Anatomy of a UVic site.

Secondary navigation often has sub-secondary navigation items. This lets you break a topic into further details, such as listing Major, Minor and Honours under Our programs.

Note: These menus should be limited to approximately four to 10 links in order to keep the site simple and user friendly.

Secondary and tertiary navigation on UVic sitesTertiary navigation contains links that are useful throughout the site.

When looking at a UVic site on your computer, this navigation is a grey, vertical menu below the secondary navigation on the left. On a mobile device, it is a series of white tabs is shown at the bottom of the page under the title In this section.

Most sites uses News & Events and Contact us as their tertiary items. This site uses those two items, as well as Training opportunities.  

Note: These menus should be limited to one to three links in order to keep the site simple and user-friendly. Contact us should always be the final tertiary navigation item to help users find this information quickly.