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Sunday, August 21, 2011

What is meant by Relationship-Navigation Analysis (RNA)?

Relationship navigation analysis (RNA) is a series of analysis steps to identify relationships among the elements that are left uncovered during the creation of the analysis model. There are five steps that constitutes the RNA approach:
- Stakeholder analysis establishes stakeholder hierarchy and identifies various user categories.
- Element analysis identifies content objects and functional elements that are in interest to end uses.
- Relationship analysis identifies the relationship among web application elements.
- Navigation analysis identifies the accessibility of elements by users.
- Evaluation analysis identifies the cost and benefit included.

To assess analysis model elements to understand relationships among them, some guidelines are:
- the attributes identified for element.
- whether description about element exists and where?
- is element composed of other smaller elements?
- is element a member of larger collection of elements?
- does analysis class describe the element?
- in using the element, what are the pre and post conditions.
- is the element used in specific ordering of other elements?
- does the element appear in the same place?

The answers to above questions helps the web engineer to position the element in question within the web application and to establish relationships among elements.

After relationship are identified among elements, the web engineer defines how the user category navigates from one element to another. The questions that would clear the navigation requirements are:
- how are navigation errors handled?
- should certain elements be easier to reach?
- should group element navigation be given priority over specific element navigation?
- should links be used for navigation?
- should there be a navigation log for users?
- should a navigation map or menu be established?
- for which user category an optimal navigation be designed?

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