Navigational pages

Navigational pages display headings and small pieces of content to help users navigate a website.

About this pattern

We use three main types of navigational pages:

  • Box navigation - displays hyperlinked headings and summary content in rows of large boxes on desktops and tablets, a single column on mobile
  • Grid navigation - orders hyperlinked headings and summary content into rows without boxes on desktops and tablets, a single column on mobile
  • List navigation - orders hyperlinked headings and summary content into a list

Card navigation

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Sample HTML

<nav aria-label="Category navigation">
    <ol class="ds_category-list  ds_category-list--grid  ds_category-list--narrow">
        <li class="ds_card  ds_card--no-padding  ds_card--has-hover">
            <article class="ds_category-item  ds_category-item--card">
                <h2 class="ds_category-item__title">
                    <a href="#" class="ds_category-item__link">
                        Environment and countryside
                    </a>
                </h2>

                <p class="ds_category-item__summary">
                    Access to and protection of the countryside and managing wildlife on your land
                </p>
            </article>
        </li>

        <li class="ds_card  ds_card--no-padding  ds_card--has-hover">
            <article class="ds_category-item  ds_category-item--card">
                <h2 class="ds_category-item__title">
                    <a href="#" class="ds_category-item__link">Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)</a>
                </h2> 

                <p class="ds_category-item__summary">
                    Find out about Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) in your area
                </p>
            </article>
        </li>

        <li class="ds_card  ds_card--no-padding  ds_card--has-hover">
            <article class="ds_category-item  ds_category-item--card">
                <h2 class="ds_category-item__title">
                    <a href="#" class="ds_category-item__link">Farming and rural issues</a>
                </h2>

                <p class="ds_category-item__summary">
                    Guidance for farming, animal health, agriculture and food businesses in Scotland
                </p>
            </article>
        </li>

        <li class="ds_card  ds_card--no-padding  ds_card--has-hover">
            <article class="ds_category-item  ds_category-item--card">    
                <h2 class="ds_category-item__title">
                    <a href="#" class="ds_category-item__link">Waste and energy</a>
                </h2>

                <p class="ds_category-item__summary">
                    Find advice and support to help your business become more environmentally aware and efficient
                </p>
            </article>
        </li>

        <li class="ds_card  ds_card--no-padding  ds_card--has-hover">
            <article class="ds_category-item  ds_category-item--card">
                <h2 class="ds_category-item__title">
                    <a href="#" class="ds_category-item__link">Marine and fisheries</a>
                </h2>

                <p class="ds_category-item__summary">
                    Includes information on safety at sea and managing crew
                </p>
            </article>
        </li>
    </ol>
</nav>

All cards should contain links.

Single cards can be ‘highlighted’ to make them stand out from others on the page.

Grid navigation

Open this example in a new window

Sample HTML

<nav aria-label="Category navigation">
    <ol class="ds_category-list  ds_category-list--grid">
        <li class="ds_category-item ">
            <h2 class="ds_category-item__title">
                <a href="#" class="ds_category-item__link">
                    Environment and countryside
                </a>
            </h2>

            <p class="ds_category-item__summary">
                Access to and protection of the countryside and managing wildlife on your land
            </p>
        </li>

        <li class="ds_category-item">
            <h2 class="ds_category-item__title">
                <a href="#" class="ds_category-item__link">
                    Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
                </a>
            </h2>

            <p class="ds_category-item__summary">
                Find out about Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) in your area
            </p>
        </li>

        <li class="ds_category-item">
            <h2 class="ds_category-item__title">
                <a href="#" class="ds_category-item__link">Farming and rural issues</a>
            </h2>

            <p class="ds_category-item__summary">
                Guidance for farming, animal health, agriculture and food businesses in Scotland
            </p>
        </li>

        <li class="ds_category-item">    
            <h2 class="ds_category-item__title">
                <a href="#" class="ds_category-item__link">Waste and energy</a>
            </h2>

            <p class="ds_category-item__summary">
                Find advice and support to help your business become more environmentally aware and efficient
            </p>
        </li>

        <li class="ds_category-item">
            <h2 class="ds_category-item__title">
                <a href="#" class="ds_category-item__link">Marine and fisheries</a>
            </h2>

            <p class="ds_category-item__summary">
                Includes information on safety at sea and managing crew
            </p>
        </li>
    </ol>
</nav>

Although there are no boxes, there is a single, left-hand side line running the total length of each text area (heading plus summary content).

List navigation

Open this example in a new window

Sample HTML

<nav aria-label="Category navigation">
    <ol class="ds_category-list">
        <li class="ds_category-item">
            <h2 class="ds_category-item__title">
                <a href="#" class="ds_category-item__link">
                    Environment and countryside
                </a>
            </h2>

            <p class="ds_category-item__summary">
                Access to and protection of the countryside and managing wildlife on your land
            </p>
        </li>

        <li class="ds_category-item">
            <h2 class="ds_category-item__title">
                <a href="#" class="ds_category-item__link">
                    Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
                </a>
            </h2>

            <p class="ds_category-item__summary">
                Find out about Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) in your area
            </p>
        </li>

        <li class="ds_category-item">
            <h2 class="ds_category-item__title">
                <a href="#" class="ds_category-item__link">Farming and rural issues</a>
            </h2>

            <p class="ds_category-item__summary">
                Guidance for farming, animal health, agriculture and food businesses in Scotland
            </p>
        </li>

        <li class="ds_category-item">    
            <h2 class="ds_category-item__title">
                <a href="#" class="ds_category-item__link">Waste and energy</a>
            </h2>

            <p class="ds_category-item__summary">
                Find advice and support to help your business become more environmentally aware and efficient
            </p>
        </li>

        <li class="ds_category-item">
            <h2 class="ds_category-item__title">
                <a href="#" class="ds_category-item__link">Marine and fisheries</a>
            </h2>

            <p class="ds_category-item__summary">
                Includes information on safety at sea and managing crew
            </p>
        </li>
    </ol>
</nav>

Links in a navigational list can be highlighted. Links that are highlighted always appear at the top of the list. Other items in the list may be sorted in any order.

Other versions of these patterns

Some versions of box navigation may include a gradient effect along the bottom border of individual boxes.

Why we use these patterns

Features of these patterns, such as the large size of the boxes in the card navigation pattern, help space out content to make it easier for users to find the content they need.

These patterns can also be reused across websites, creating a consistent experience for users and cutting development time.

Website analytics

To understand user behaviour, clicks on navigation items can be tracked through the original page path, the click URL, the click text, and a data attribute showing the item number.

The data attributes are added automatically by the Design System’s “tracking” script.

Feedback, help or support

If you need any help or want to give any feedback you can e-mail us at: designsystem@gov.scot

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