Getting your websites navigation right

Posted by Mariana Morales on December 1, 2016 at 10:17 AM

In website redesign

 The navigation that you choose for your website is essential, it represents your opportunity to guide visitors through your site. Your goal should be to help users find content and the information that they need to make a buying decision.

It's important then, when you are entering into the process of a website redesign that you consider your websites navigation from a strategic place rather than from a design perspective. Though the visual should be strong, if it is not user friendly it may cause you to louse the visitors who've landed on your website. Getting your websites navigation right is concentrating on the UI to produce highly functional UX. 

 

The types of navigation your may consider

Main or global navigation

This is the top level navigation, it's function should be to move visitors the pages of importance just below the homepage. Your global navigation, will tell visitors where to go to find things on your site, how to switch areas of interest and defines what your site consists of. There are different ways to use your main navigation, for instance you can use a sticky navigation or a mega navigation. 

Local navigation

Local navigation, is the sub navigation to your main navigation. It may be embedded vertically, horizontally under the main navigation or as an inverted L, this means it is placed as a vertical list along the side of your page. This breaks your web content down further for visitors.

The Hamburger Navigation

A necessity for responsive devices, the hamburger can be seen as hiding the navigation on a full desktop view. The hamburger is just that, a three line slat that resembles a hamburger and is found in the right top corner of your website.

Footer Navigation

The footer navigation is located at the foot of the website, generally the footer navigation should be simple. There are specific items visitors expect to find here like terms and conditions, sitemap, privacy policy and contact. It is best used as an area to present navigation to pages that aren't important enough for the main navigation.

 

Tips for good website navigation

  • Be descriptive and direct. Think audience, object or action based.
  • Limit the amount of top level menu options to under seven
  • Place the most important pages first
  • Draw out a visitors flow
  • Think mega drop downs instead or small ones

 

Don't make this common website navigation mistake

If your web designer delivers you a website design with a navigation that is far from standard, consider questioning it. If it is not located along the top (most common) or down the side visitors won't know where to look an will likely stop at page one.

 

You're building a website to drive business for a company, not getting the navigation right, right away can derail a project no matter how beautiful the design. Connect with a UX/UI expert and run your navigation design by them for approval or advice. When you're ready to move forward with a navigation that is both strategically thought out and visually appealing to your design connect with a outsource web developer to get the job done. Learn how our expert team of web developers can help your marketing agency ensure that your website is built with a functional user experience
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