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Human Readable Web Addresses

MKDoc has been designed to generate web sites that have human readable, usable, and recognisable addresses.

Web addresses should be easy to read out to someone on the phone without causing confusion.

Memorable for humans

With MKDoc there is no strange punctuation or long numbers.

Web address names are usually referred to as Universal Resource Indicators (URIs) or Universal Resource Locators (URLs) and they appear in a bar that is located at the top of your browser - for example, the URI of this page is

As each page is built, MKDoc allocates a URI to that page. This is based on both its location within the web site's structure and the title of the page itself. For example, this page was allocated initially with this URI: because it was created as a child of and was given the Title "Human Readable Web Addresses".

You may alter the URI Name via the Document Properties form in the MKDoc administration interface. For example, the URI Name has been altered from "human-readable-web-addresses" to "addresses". This keeps the URI short and consistent with the rest of the site.

Readable by robots

Computers also need sensible web addresses. Some search engines will not index web pages with punctuation in the addresses.

Please do not submit webpages with these symbols in the URL: ampersand (&), percent sign (%), equals sign (=), dollar sign ($) or question mark (?). Our spider does not recognize them.

Lycos Add Your Site Page

Don't take our word for it...

MKDoc makes it easy to have addresses that are user-friendly. All of the issues raised by Jakob Nielsen on this issue can be complied with by using MKDoc:

...a URL should contain human-readable directory and file names that reflect the nature of the information space.

Also, users sometimes need to type in a URL, so try to minimize the risk of typos by using short names with all lower-case characters and no special characters (many people don't know how to type a ~).

Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design, Jakob Nielsen.

...a usable site requires:

  • a domain name that is easy to remember and easy to spell
  • short URLs
  • easy-to-type URLs
  • URLs that visualize the site structure
  • URLs that are "hackable" to allow users to move to higher levels of the information architecture by hacking off the end of the URL
  • persistent URLs that don't change

URL as UI, Jakob Nielsen

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This document was last modified by Adam Moran on 2002-09-19 17:06:45
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