10 Points To Consider For Designing The Website Navigation Perfectly
10 Points To Consider For Designing The Website Navigation Perfectly –
Content is King, people say, but what about navigation? It’s the queen. If content rules the brains of web audience, then navigation wins over their hearts. Larger content needs to be managed wisely to get the desired response from the site visitors. If site visitors fail to access the content available over a website, it means the website is worthless.
In simple words, navigation means table of contents. Just like traditional publishing, where pages are numbered for smooth navigation, the web pages are supported by smooth structure to help the visitors access them as and when they want without any hurdle.
How to make navigation smooth to appeal to the site visitors and help them stay for longer? The lines below will reveal the basic principles that designers working in a web design company should consider in the navigation design process.
10 Points To Consider For Designing The Website Navigation Perfectly –
1. Keep Reader In Mind While Designing
The navigation structure should be designed while keeping the end reader in mind. Navigation for the sake of navigation is not a good option to go for. Using the internal vague classification names is also not good. The main objective of navigation is to facilitate the users, so this approach should be considered as top priority while designing the navigational structure of any website.
Surveying the readers and getting their response through navigation mock-ups are good ways to move towards supporting and smooth website navigation.
2. Navigation Should Have Many Options
If every website visitor would have the same mindset while navigating through a website, then web designers would have felt at ease. The real thing is every website visitor has different preferences while navigating through the web pages of a website, so web designers have to go for the navigational structure that could satisfy the needs of every visitor. Some visitors prefer geographical navigation; some others prefer subject matter, while some others want reading the recent documents. If there are more navigation options, all it will help in attracting more numbers of targeted customers.
3. Guide Readers About Their Location
Navigation of any website should guide the visitors about what page they are on. Hypertext should be used to present navigation. If there is graphical navigation, different names should be given to the web pages. The classification names should have different design compared to other navigation.
4. Guide Visitors What Places They Have Visited
The best and visitor friendly thing at any website is to guide the visitors what pages they have visited. Using hypertext is better than going towards the graphical form. If hypertext is used for navigational elements, the colour changes on clicking. The unclicked links have blue colour for hypertext, and once clicked, the colour changes to purple. If the same pattern were followed, the readers would be guided the better way.
5. Guide Visitors Where They Are Moving At The Website
To guide the readers where they are moving at a website is by using self-explanatory names for classification. To make the navigation clearer, provide the users with an HTML page, and if the navigation is towards some other page, inform them timely. Another thing is to let the visitor stay in the same browser window in which they are operating, unless there is some compelling reason to switch.
6. Home Page Should Provide The Visitors With Context
The navigation of the home page isn’t just meant to be functional, but also provide the visitors with summaries or features after taking content highlights. To provide better context, make it sure that the content has good classification. There should be better product home pages carrying fresh content relevant to that product. Also, provide the visitors with relevant links to the documents or the details mentioned at a web page.
7. Consistency Should Be There
The first thing that lets the users navigate is when they are confused or feel like lost at the web pages and failed to get to the content they were looking for. If there is inconsistency in the navigational design, it will cause the visitors feeling lost. Consistency is the key to make the navigation successful.
The consistency should be in classification, graphical navigation design, and hypertext colours used. Consistent navigation makes the web experience smoother for the audience, which means more chances of high conversion rate.
8. Web Conventions Are To Be Followed
Many successful web designers use the conventions of navigation to save their time as well as keep the website functional with tried and tested tips. Such kind of imitation isn’t bad at all; in fact, it offers great help. Some common navigational conventions are:
- Global navigation at the top and bottom of every web page carrying links to the main web pages
- Home is a common convention to navigate to the main home page.
- About convention is used to represent a page where a visitor could find everything about the company like history, goals, performance, vision, mission statement.
- Contact is a common navigation to provide the site visitors with contact details like telephone numbers, email addresses, office address, etc.
- Logo of the company should be placed at top of every web page while carrying link to the home page of the website.
- Visitors should be provided with a search box at every web page. Right of the masthead is the best place for search box.
- Global navigation should be there at the footer of every web page as hypertext.
9. Avoid Surprising The Reader
If the visitors were asked to do something that isn’t easy for them, then it would be quite distracting. False navigation paths, not informing the visitors of exceptions, and forcing them to do what they don’t want to do are the things that surprise the visitors and cause them switching to some other website. Web designers should consider these things while designing any website.
10. Support And Feedback Are Needed
Once a visitor reaches a website, contacting the company is just a click away. There should be clear customer support at a website like email address, telephone numbers, quick chat, and everything that could help the visitors in easy communication with the business.
The above-mentioned 10 tips about designing the navigational structure of a website are helpful for the professional as well as newbie designers. Navigation should be simple for the site visitors to help them move along different web pages and to take the desired action. Navigation is an art that a web designer can make better use of not just to attract the site visitors, but also to retain them for becoming the loyal customers.
[jbox title=”Author Bio”]
Emma Jones, author of this post, is working with Vania Technologies, a bespoke web development and website design agency in Glasgow. She has been into this field of writing for the last 5 years. Other than writing, she likes cooking, spending time with her friends, and exploring what’s new over World Wide Web. You can follow her on twitter @vaniatech.