Website Navigation Tips | Expert Tips for Improving Your Navigation Menu
Website Navigation Tips | Haven’t you come across a website that challenged your Internet-ability intellect so you decided to leave it without hesitation? That is exactly what you should think about when you are having your own website designed or redesigned. Navigation is best understood as the process in which you discover and move around the website. Keeping it straightforward and apparent will keep your clients and visitors happy and coming back for more. The importance of a good website navigation must be fully comprehended by the designers. In fact, this is one of the most essential responsibilities that a designer must carry out. A website navigation acts as the doorway for users to navigate through its pages. Navigation works best when the reader barely notices it’s there. Therefore navigation design should constantly be simple, direct, plain, with the superseding objective of helping reader get to where they want to go.
Allow Navigation from Any Page | Website Navigation Tips
It’s not unheard of for visitors to become trapped after they arrive on a site from search engines or from links displayed on other websites. In most cases, this happens when website owners concentrate more on improving landing page conversions than they do on addressing the navigation needs of their users. It is crucial to provide a top navigation menu (as the top bar) which is consistent in look and feel for all the pages in the website. This menu should include links to each category, the home page, contact or support page, faq page, etc. This helps the consumer to move around categories or to contact support from any location.
Make it Simple | Website Navigation Tips
It is better to use simple, understandable and terms that are easy to figure out than to keep to industry-only terms for your navigation menu. Any link that takes users more than a second or two to figure out is possibly unsuitable for use. Navigation should be simple and easy. This means that under no circumstance should you make your viewers stop and think while they are navigating around your website. If your website architecture is not laid out correctly, your viewers will be confused about how to reach the information they are looking for. Drop-down menus can help reduce clutter and offer a very clear and brief way to get around your site. On the contrary, if you use too many, it can look messy and/or overwhelm your less tech-savvy visitors. So try your best to keep it uncomplicated and intuitive.
Keep it Consistent | Website Navigation Tips
Consistency in your navigation helps you present an integrated, cohesive image to your visitors. In other words, you look refined, well-thought-out, and on top of things. Your visitors get the impression that you “have it under control”. On the other hand, if your navigation is unpredictable, it reflects badly on you and your business. You’ll look disorganized and amateurish. Visitors wish for familiarity. They are more relaxed and more trusting if they know things are going to remain the same from page to page. They have a certain sense of assurance from knowing what to expect. Consistent navigation also helps out your customers with disabilities who may have difficulty moving around websites and find themselves ‘lost’ more often. Your customers who rely on spatial navigation, due to impaired sight, or need extra help understanding your website will thank you.
Breadcrumb Navigation | Website Navigation Tips
A “breadcrumb” is a style of secondary navigation scheme that reveals the user’s location in a website or Web application. As visitors browse a website, they often need to know how they got to the page they’re on, and how they will be able to get back to an earlier starting point. Breadcrumb navigation is often disregarded in the design and development process. Some people may see it as unnecessary while others may think it is too big of a hassle for what it’s worth. Fact of the matter is, breadcrumb navigation will significantly increase the usability of a website.
The best way to create a product people will love is to consider how they think. The same theory can be applied to navigation. Your website’s navigation has to be instinctive and based on how viewers interact with websites. Your website may seem simple to navigate to you, but keep this in mind: you’re the one who designed it from the start. Or, even if you’re not, you’re at least almost certainly very familiar with how it functions. Try and step back and view it through the eyes of someone who’s never seen it before, and check its intuitiveness.