Same content, different navigation

In this imperfect world, I often get involved in project after decisions have been made and content has been created. This is one of those scenarios. What we have is an online textbook. It has a sidebar menu for each section and at the bottom of each page are buttons for the previous/next page. Pretty straight forward so far. The issue that’s come up is that  some of the pages will be reused in different sections. Naturally we don’t want to duplicate content. How can we deal with the previous/next buttons in a way that contextual aware of the unit they’re part of at the time? Strike One As I thought about it, I had a temporarily great idea! We have the URLs needed for the previous/next buttons in the existing sidebar menu and, since that sidebar menu differs in each unit, we don’t need to do any magic. We just have to know what page we’re on and what URLs are on either side of that URL in the sidebar menu. I built that out and started to write this post congratulating myself on my cleverness . . . but as I wrote it I realized this would not work at all. The menu is associated with the page and can only have one association in this scenario. Ah […]