Navigation is vital for a website. While this may sound obvious, it certainly is something that many websites have ignored in the design stages. A User Interface Engineering study revealed that users find it hard to get the information they want from a website more than 60% of the time.
This may seem acceptable for a failure rate on the average blog but it is simply unacceptable when it comes to a business website. What seems like a small oversight can result in the loss of clients. Another study found that over 40% of internet users failed to return to websites on which they had negative experiences the first time round.
If you want to avoid this, then you should take note of the following essential elements for effective navigation on your website.
- Simple and logical
Don’t make your users think too much. Ensure that the structure of your website is properly laid out in a logical way so as not to confuse users. They should be able to find the information they need without having to think too much about how things on your website work or which page they ought to visit first. Navigation ought to be self-explanatory and as obvious as possible.
A good idea is to test the navigation of your website on a friend. They can point out any changes that can be made to improve it.
- User-centric and intuitive
The best way to make your website’s navigation effective is to consider how users think. Base the design of your website on how the users interact with the website. In this case, using conventional tactics is vital as opposed to being innovative and thinking outside the box. While this may seem boring, it allows you to create a highly functional and beautiful website that your users will appreciate.
Users will have no problems finding what they are looking for. This is much more satisfying than having a fancy design for your website.
- Open internal links in the same tab
Many users prefer to be able to press the back button when navigating for information on a website. This allows them to return to the page they were before. It can be frustrating and even confusing to click on an internal link and have it open in a new tab or window.
This however should only apply to internal links. Ensure that external links open in new tables or windows. This ensures that the user can always check in with your website without losing it as they navigate for information.
- Include sub navigation
It is not advisable or even practical to have all links to all pages of your website included in the main navigation menu. It will not only be a visual catastrophe but result in poor functionality. It is therefore better to organize your links into main and sub navigation. Include links to main pages or sections on your main navigation menu and links to other pages on sub navigation menus within different sections.
Read novage.com.sg and go to web design for more great tips.