Online surfers search for information across the net. However, they are very impatient and can leave a site if they can’t figure out something relevant. In most cases, it has been found that online viewers leave a site because they cannot figure out the links to go to another page of the site. Thus, we can see that website navigation plays a very important role in website design. Effectiveness of a website can be increased immensely with proper implementation of user friendly website navigation.
This should also be kept in mind by the website designers that all types of sites are not the same and everyone of them requires special and specific approach. In every case, there are some special requirements and specific target audience. Thus, creative designers should also keep in mind that they should implement website navigation structure in accordance with the needs of the specific industry. Whether the site is an ecommerce site or an informative site, navigation structure changes from site to site.
The different locations of navigation structure include Top Menus, Right Hand Side Navigation, Left Hand Side Navigation and Bottom Menus. While creating the navigational structure of a site a designer should include Internal Page Links, Login Boxes, Shopping Carts, Breadcrumbs, Order Buttons, External Links, Advertisements, Downloadable Items and Site Map.
Here are some important tips for improving your site’s navigational structure:
1.Designing from Users’ Point of View
It is advisable that the designer should think from the point of the view of an average user and then create the navigation bar so that the structure can catch imagination of maximum number of people.
2. Make a Link Clearly Visible
The navigational links placed in the website should be clearly visible and the viewers should be able to locate the same easily. A link can be made more visible by:
- Underlining the text
- Changing color on mouse-over
3.Three Click Rule
Web experts have found out that an user don’t click more than 3 links to get information from a site. Hence, it is very important for website designers to remember that a user should be able to reach different parts of a website from every page of the site within 3 clicks.
Some more tips for making the navigational structure better and user friendly:
- It is better to avoid use of splash page or flash movie in a website as much as possible
- The website design should be simple and attractive
A good navigation structure enhances user experience and helps the user to go to different parts of the site. This increases the time spent by the users in the site, increasing the chances of customer conversion and ultimately increasing the business.
Derick Branson is an experienced web developer and is a creative designer too. He has been associated lately with internet marketing services, especially SEO services. In this article he has written on website design and the different ways of implementing it effectively.
Designing from the user’s point of view cannot be emphasised enough. Unfortunately, most sites and designers, make the mistake of overlooking this. It is also important to keep the navigation small. If your site is large, its probably best to divide your links into main menu and sub menu.