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Glossary » mental map

mental map

(website navigation) a representation in a person’s mind of the structure of a website, which is likely to be incomplete and simplified. A mental map helps people simplify the job of remembering what they’ve seen to the problem of remembering an overall structure rather than every page and link. When a mental map is a fairly accurate representation of the actual site structure, a person can use it to quickly navigate without a lot of mental effort. However, where the mental map doesn’t match the actual site structure, navigation can be slower than optimal and people can make incorrect inferences about what is and is not included on the site.