Jim Ray links to a good post by Kyle Neath about URL design (emphasis mine):
Any regular semi-technical user of your site should be able to navigate 90% of your app based off memory of the URL structure. In order to achieve this, your URLs will need to be pragmatic. Almost like they were a math equation — many simple rules combined in a strategic fashion to get to the page they want.
A thousand times yes. I’m reminded of Simon Willison’s notes on a talk Tom Coates gave in 2006 which are still massively valid1 (emphasis mine):
Good URLs should:
- be permanent references to resources
- have a 1-to-1 correlation with concepts
- use directories to represent hierarchy (e.g. subordinate parts)
- NOT reflect the underlying technology – especially if it might change
- reflect the structure of the data
- be predictable/guessable/hackable
- be as human readable as possible
Good URLs are beautiful and a mark of design quality
Furthermore, a page’s
<title> should be a reply to it’s URL.
- PDF of Coates’ slides from Future of Web Apps ’06: Native to a Web of Data. ↩