How Many Categories Do you Need?
There are some experts who say that you should never have more than 68 links from your front page. Others say that if you rely on allowing your users to use a search box, that your navigation system has failed. Every site is ultimately different, but it is a good rule of thumb to try to limit your categories to as few as possible, without compromising usability. This is a delicate line to cross, and is easier said than done. Is less more, or is more more? The sites shown in the following figures are extremely popular, even though their approaches are different.
Although Google and Yahoo! are both search engines, they take a very different approach to categories (see figures 4 and 5). Google offers four categories and a giant search box. Yahoo! has numerous other links, inviting people to either browse or search. Yahoo! also offers a lot of other services such as email and personalization.