Making navigation complex

Google with its simple do-as-I-mean interface reigns supreme on the web. With an ever-growing focus on simplification in navigation, it is instructive to step back and challenge the goal occasionally.

Sometimes the material you are trying to convey is inherently complex and that very complexity is your key message. Think of any major issue facing humanity or the environment. Sometimes you want to expose the inherent complexity of the subject matter in order to engage the visitor and draw him more deeply into the material.

The latter is the case for Bletchley Park. As we mentioned before, the museum has an innovative solution for drawing visitors to their web site after their trip.


The initial navigation is set up based on the exhibits the visitor found particularly interesting, based on the text messages received by the system. the navigation to related categories is cleverly constructed and helps draw the visitor, now a researcher, into the material.

However, no attempt is made to hide the ultimate complexity and depth of the material.


The experience is that visitors do navigate and use (e.g. in school essays) information from multiple subject areas.

Einstein said something to the effect that we should make things as simple as possible, but not simpler. Are there any cases you can think of where we have gone too far and would benefit from a more complex navigation?