What Makes Good Website Navigation?


 07/07/2015 12:00 AM

Navigation is an integral part of any website, but this doesn’t mean it has to be flashy or complex to win your users over. When it comes to finding your way around a website, simplicity is best. Function should take precedence over form since visitors would sooner stick with a site that can be explored than waste time with a rigid novelty page. Build a website that’s clear and engaging with the help of SITE123 and your group of loyal visitors will never be far behind. The following lists some aspects of good website navigation.

Considering the user

The first thing to consider when constructing clear website navigation is to put yourself in the user’s shoes. Imagine visiting each web page with impartial eyes - is there anything that stands out as unnecessary or out of place? Each clickable tab or bar should be of use to visitors so ensure you are always asking yourself the question: ‘Is this useful?’ and you will begin to view your website from a user perspective as you build your own website.

Consistency

Being creative with you web design is great but when it comes to navigation, the majority of users will appreciate routine and predictability. Most websites have a fixed navigation menu either at the top or sides of the page but if this were to change upon visiting different areas of your site, this won’t make for a pleasant user experience. Displaying your navigation bars in an original and inventive way is fine, but your overall menu must be easy to use and fall largely under the realms of what people expect from the average website.

Relevance

There is no bigger source of irritation or confusion to the user than irrelevant menu links. If a menu link sends users on to an irrelevant or redundant web page, visitors may feel as if they have to work harder to find what they are looking for. Exploring a web page should never be a challenge for the user. As soon as a website browse becomes more of a test, this is when a good company web page can be let down by a poor navigation system.

Internal links

Displaying internal links on your site is not only beneficial to the individual user, it can also generate more leads from search engines. This is because search engines will scan any page of a website that contains user-friendly keywords so the more links you have within your own website, the more chance visitors have of finding you! Save users time and energy by helping them find shortcuts from one end of your site to another.

Search bars

Placing a search bar on your main page is a key navigational tool. Regardless of your website’s size and range of content, giving users the option to search for a specific term is always appreciated. When users cannot find what they want, you can still use this opportunity to your advantage by providing them with further assistance. This could be in the form of a closely related link or a friendly, witty error message that instills your sense of humor and cooperation. Whether or not a search returns a users query, they are more likely to remember and possibly even recommend your site to others based on a positive and helpful experience.

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