A-Z lists can be great for showing a catalogue of information, or a directory. The logical alphabetical order of the content can be browsed by our users to find what’s relevant to them.
But, the user needs some pre-existing knowledge of the information you are categorising alphabetically, so that they can navigate to the content they are looking for. You are only giving them one hierarchical structure to browse, so you should be sure it will make sense to your audience.
As with all web content, A-Z lists need regular maintenance or they can become unusable. You should think about whether you will have the time to keep the list up to date.
A-Z list do’s
- Do consider using normal text instead. Use clear headings, bullet points, or numbered lists
- Do include an introduction at the top of the page
- Do keep A-Zs updated, and remove items that are old or have become irrelevant
- Do use A-Zs if you think your users will know the name of the information they want
- Do consider repeating the same content using different titles, if many terms are in common use
- Do test list item headings with people who aren’t familiar with the subjects
A-Z list don’ts:
- Don’t use A-Z lists for content aimed at users which have no prior knowledge of the subject
- Don’t use an A-Z when you need to prioritise important or frequently used information
Find out how to build General A-Z lists in Site Manager