DES 1.1 Be consistent throughout

Consistency is one of the most important principles behind good interactive design and accessible design.

Consistency assists people to efficiently access and utilise the information and services you are providing, rather than wasting time repeatedly working out how the page or site works.

Being forced to relearn an interface at every page or section is annoying for everyone and it can make life particularly difficult for some people (e.g. Users of screen reader or screen magnification software).

People should be able to confidently predict where various page elements can be found.

  • Be as consistent as possible: e.g.
    • The look, colour and placement of navigation bars and links;
    • The position, and appearance of recurring items, e.g:
      • Logos,
      • Form elements,
      • Recurring text elements;
    • The style of writing:
      • Tone,
      • Structure of the document;
    • The general way that things across pages work.

Tip: Have accessible templates produced and use them consistently.

Note: You can have a different format for the home page if necessary.

Note: It may make sense to change the format for certain pages or sections - just make sure you make each natural section as consistent as possible.

Poor: Each page is different - no chance to predict the format of different content pages      Good: Consistent pages throughout a site