For about as long as there have been interstate highways across the U.S., there have been roadside attractions beckoning motorists to pull over. We're not talking about polished tourist meccas like Disneyland or Colonial Williamsburg but instead the diversions that simply offer weary travelers a place to stop, stretch, spend some money and likely see some weirdness.

This Web site is not about cheesy roadside diversions, though. Instead, the Web sites of these attractions will be used as a basis for discussion on the importance of navigation elements in Web design and usability.

This presentation will include discussion on the importance of incorporating distinct navigation elements, the use of tabs, how to develop effective home pages, and the meaningful use of images as navigation elements.

One thing worth mentioning is that most of these roadside businesses don't necessarily need Web sites in order to attract customers. By their very nature, these establishments appeal to weary drivers and any accompanying kids in the back seat. Physical highway signage remains the most effective and most used method for these attractions, shops and restaurants.

That said, it is probably should come as little surprise that many of the sites referenced here appear to be afterthoughts with little regard for design and usability. Interesting, then, is the apparently high level of effort put into a number of these types of sites.

© Copyright 2005 Jason Sokoloff