Website Navigation is there to help us quickly and locate content on our websites.
When an end-user stumbles upon your site, they want to be able to navigate through the site, with relative ease and have a pleasant experience doing it. But not every website is designed with that in mind. When it comes to web design, an essential aspect of it involves being able to identify where an end-user will go, while on the site, and how it will or can proceed throughout the site.
7 Tips for Better Website Navigation
When it comes to site creation, the navigation system becomes one of the most integral aspects of it. Below are several tips that you can and should use when creating the perfect navigation for your site. There are many fundamental aspects of it that I’ve made attempts to highlight them, below:
1. Minimize Dropdown Menus
If your site navigation uses dropdowns, which opens up more menus beneath it when the end-user hovers over it with their mouse pointer, then that’s something you should minimize, you don’t want your drop-down menu to exceed more than six. When it comes to websites and our expectations, there’s the acceptable and unacceptable, but ultimately, you’ll want to simplify things as much as possible, as you’ll only benefit from it.
2. Make It Stand Out
When creating names for all the different pages on your site, which you should then use in your navigation menu, it works best to think outside of the box. You have your typical pages, like ‘About Us,’ ‘Contact Us,’ ‘Home,’ that the vast majority of familiar people too. But coming up with creative titles can only help to elicit more interest in those pages. You don’t want to use confusing language, keep it simple, but original.
3. Use Web Conventions
Conventions exist, as they are well-established elements that have proven to work. When something implemented is proven to work, this typically creates copycats, resulting in that implementation becoming the standard. The established design conventions work well enough that visitors can navigate through a site, with minimal difficulty, irrespective of the language minimize In. However, there are times when you can break from web conventions, but such times are unique and should only attempt when you know that your different way is better.
Innovative menus could consider a break from conventions, and in some cases, they work, depending on the uniqueness of the site they exist on.
4. Link Logo to Home Page
It should seem like the most obvious thing, but the reality is that so many websites fail to implement this small tip.
The web convention for logo placement is the top left-hand corner of the site or in the top center of the page. However, this logo should also act as a link back to the homepage so that visitors can access the front page within one single click.
It is a widely utilized standard that followed because it works.
5. Header and Footer Navigation Need Not Match
A portion of people believe that for a navigation system to work, it must be consistent throughout the entirety of a website, but that isn’t true. The top header navigation is undoubtedly the most important, so it should be kept simple. However, when it comes to the footer navigation, you’re free to run wild. You have the freedom to add as many links into the footer as you please, this is because footer navigations also double up as sitemaps, in many cases.
6. Navigation Planning
When creating your site navigation, you’ll want to start from the very beginning. It means you’ll want to establish the kind of features that the website will offer to end-users. Then you’ll need to determine the hierarchy of the information on display. Your old website menu typically referred to as the sitemap, and this usually created using a spreadsheet or a simple diagram, showing all the different levels of data. When creating your sitemap, there isn’t any particular way that you should or shouldn’t do it, as it’s up to the web designer to adopt a method that works best for him/her.
7. Website Navigation on Mobile Devices
With the massive trend in responsible sites, due to search engine algorithmic changes, this has brought about a new standard in navigation creation. An accurate description of it would be the hamburger icon. It’s mostly an icon that has three horizontal lines, which used to represent the menu. These lines look a lot like a sandwich, which is why people refer to it as the hamburger icon. This icon will typically position in the top right-hand corner of the site, and when clicked on, it will grant the visitor access to the menu system.