Relative Location

Relative location is related to the placement of areas of use and circulation on the site. Putting things in the right place is essential for making useful connections. A useful connection is one in which "the inputs needed by one element are supplied by other elements in the system; and the outputs needed by one element are used by other elements in the system."

The effect of not paying attention to relative location is work, extra effort to meet needs not met within the system, and…outputs that are wasted in the system. To place elements in the right place we must know their potential connections.

Aggregating design elements will bring varied activities together to share space, reinforce each other and eliminate…trips from one area to another. We are always searching for connections between parts of systems and between seemingly disparate systems to establish appropriate relationships in our design.

The act of determining relative locations is, in fact, what we call design.

It is in the realm of the principle of relative location to be an aggregator.

If we viewed each element in a design, not as a discrete smooth-edged entity, but as having protrusions for connections of inputs and outflows, it might help us to better make usable relative location decisions.

That last quote, says it all. How are you making every single bit of information on your site connectable to something else upon it? Every post or thought that you put down should be connecting and linking to something else on the site. It is actually quite hilarious when you think about it. We often link to more information off of our site than the content upon it.

Actually this approach is similar to one of my own in that I always said I wanted each one of my posts to have an area near the bottom where it shows previous posts that relate to the topic I’m currently reading (i.e. if it talks about design, then it shows the last 5 posts about design near the bottom of the post).

Here’s another example. Say you have a movie section on your site where you review movies you’ve seen. Well, anytime you talk about movies in your post (even if only slightly) then you should be linking to those movie reviews (i.e. "And after the conference, we caught a movie with a few other people").