Navigation Patterns for B2B E-Commerce

16 Apr 2008 - 2:07pm
1036 reads
Thomas Marks

Hello Members!

I am the UI/Interaction designer at a major emerging technology e-
commerce company.

We are currently in the process of re-structuring and redesigning our
website, which has been around in some form or another since 2004 or
so. Our customer breakdown is about 80% B2B and 20% B2C. Our product
catalog is quite extensive, about 3,000 products – and because we sell
products in a niche emerging technology, there is not necessarily a
universally recognized nomenclature for many of the products and
product types (yet).

I am looking for any research, studies, articles, or information that
relates to navigation patterns that could be optimal for this type of

I have been looking into's new website with the
alphabetical navigation, and although I think there are problems with
the execution, I think the concept is strong, particularly because
this can offer additional findability through creation of redundant
"pseudo-categories" that point to the same place, and could work well
if executed particularly.

I am also looking at directory type navigation such as, a
mainly vertical layout like or some sort of hybrid.
Once inside the site, it will be mainly navigated through a faceted,
or "layered" navigation, not unlike many traditional e-commerce sites.

Thanks for your time & insight!

Thomas Marks

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