Your website’s navigation is one of the most critical predictors of a visitor’s user experience. Visitors to your site must have a clearly defined path from your homepage into the heart of your site. Your website should be well-organised, simple, and easy to search. Below are 10 website navigation tips strategies to help visitors to your website enjoy a more positive user experience.
1) Stick to one well-organised navigation bar. Your users will instinctively look for your navigation bar to figure out how to access key the key information that they seek. As you design your site, avoid user confusion by creating only one horizontal navigation bar across the top of your website.
2) Feature a maximum of 6 or 7 menu selections to optimise efficiency. People value speed and efficiency when it comes to websites. Including too many items in your navigation menu can lead to indecision and delays among visitors who will be forced to spend too much time reviewing the options.
3) Make sure that your search box is easy to locate. Your website’s search box is one of the most important components of your websites. It serves as a user's key to quickly accessing the information that they desire from your site. Ideally, your search box should be located in your site’s header area or at the top of your website’s sidebar.
4) Visitors should always be able to return to your home page through your company logo. A common expectation among users is to be able to return to a website’s homepage by clicking on a company’s logo. When designing your site, make sure that your logo is not simply an empty image. Users should be able to return to your homepage by clicking on your logo.
5) Use colour to help differentiate your navigation bar from the rest of your site. Use colour to make your navigation bar stand out from the background of your websites. For instance, if your website’s background is pale blue, choose a darker blue colour for your navigation bar.
6) Follow the three clicks of separation guideline. Your users should not have to work hard to uncover important content. Make sure that key information is not hidden by multiple pages. A general rule of thumb to follow is to strive to ensure that users do not have to click more than two or three times to access important content.
7) Resist the urge to use drop down menus. Using drop down menus can cause users to miss critical content on your site if users fail to move their mouse over an item in a drop down menu. If you must use a drop down menu, make every effort to keep the menu large and simple.
8) Do not use deceptive tactics to try to steer visitors toward a section of your site. Part of fostering a positive user experience is earning the trust of visitors to your site. One way to do this is to avoid including banners or promotional links that are disguised as icons.
9) Remember the power of simplicity. An over-abundance of pages or content can detract from your website’s overall image and can ward off users who value simplicity within a website. A concise 5-page website, on the other hand, promotes navigation, which contributes to a positive user experience.
10) Seek the input of a trusted web design firm. The best way to improve your website’s navigation is to enlist the guidance of a professional web design company. Pixel Fish is a trusted leader in the web design industry that has the resources and design strategies to optimise your website. We invite you to contact us to find out how we can help you enhance your website’s navigation and improve user experience.