Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Design System


  • The primary site navigation (horizontal row of links after the site title) should only link to content within that directory, never to a page where that navigation is different.
  • The first link in the navigation must allowed take users to the homepage of that topic (the index.html of that directory).

Links that are not allowed

  • To other directories on the site
  • To external websites
  • To a page with a different main navigation
  • To a page with unrelated content


  • A link is allowed if:
    • the destination is directly related to the content of the site;
    • and the destination is in the same template;
    • and the destination main navigation contains the same links


Keep navigation consistent

Design for the user

  • Keep items in order - alphabetical, numerical
  • Use items known to the user - terms the user understands

Keep the navigation manageable for the user

The number of levels within a navigation is ultimately determined by the site hierarchy. Ideally, the fewer levels people need to click through, the quicker and least confusing it should be for them to access what they want. To again quote the Nielsen Norman Group: “the deeper a hierarchy becomes, the more likely visitors are to become disoriented.” (https://www.uxbooth.com/articles/the-rules-for-modern-navigation/)

Don’t surprise or mislead the user

Provide the reader with support and feedback


Main navigation

The main navigation should be coded as an unordered list. This allows screen readers to understand that this is a list of links and how many links are in the list. Formatting the navigation as a list will also prevent links from breaking across lines on smaller screens, making the navigation easier to understand.

Secondary navigation

Purpose of secondary navigation, when and how to use it.


Breadcrumbs are a great navigation tool for users, helping to orientate when when they navigate to deeper pages on the site from external sources.


Contacts are always linked from the far right link in the top navigation bar and should be labeled “contacts.” On the contacts page, include as needed:

  • several ways to contact MnDOT staff, including name and title, phone numbers, email and street address  
  • generic email addresses or a form to avoid spam 
  • contact information for the web coordinator for the page
  • links to contact pages for related topics if necessary

Note: Email received through agency websites and your responses are considered department correspondence and follow the same retention schedule as written correspondence - generally one year. Keep records in electronic format, or print them out and file them with your paper records.