Clear and Concise Navigation for Websites

 In Design Tips, UX/UI Design, Web Design, Web Development

Clear and Concise Navigation for Websites

If the easiest thing for a visitor to do on a site is get back to the search engine by way of hitting the back button, there are some serious problems concerning navigation. These days, the intense focus on search engine optimization seems to have left many site creators believing that their pages offer a good user experience (UX) due to high visitor numbers, but just because a site is receiving uniques from around the country doesn’t mean conversion rates are nearly as good as they could or should be.

Clear navigation choices also means visitors will spend less time thinking about why they are on a specific site and more time actually using the site. The site might as well not exist at all if at any point the average person browsing through the domain stops and thinks to him or herself, “What do I have to do next?” To keep this from happening, there are a number of guidelines that nearly every user interface would benefit from following:

Congruent Site-Wide Navigation

Every page across an entire domain should have the exact same navigation menus. Attempting to browse through a site that has a changing navigation menu, whether site, location, link destinations or wording, can lead to severe frustration amongst visitors. There must be an optimized UX for sites to reach their full potential. Likewise, a page without navigation whatsoever literally forces site guests to use the back button.

The Current Page Should Be Easily Determined

This also adds to congruency in that every page of a site should tell its readers exactly where they are on the domain. Guests shouldn’t have to actually look at the URL to achieve this. Design-wise, go with either an unobtrusive breadcrumbs manager or make absolutely sure that page titles and headlines are consistent across every page created.

Website Design Template

Simple Design is King

Though content might be king in drawing people to a site, adhering to a simple design is what will keep them around and buying products. Additionally, overcomplicated navigation is not only confusing to visitors, but it’s a mess to keep organized as a site grows to tens of thousands of pages.

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James Faulkner is SodaPop Media’s Content Manager and Creative Director.

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