The term "website navigation" refers to a group of user interface elements that help users find information and complete tasks on a website. These components include copy, link text and buttons, and menus, to name a few.
Unfortunately, poor website navigation can undermine the usability of a site. When users can't find information and complete tasks quickly, they tend to leave and seek assistance elsewhere. To prevent unnecessary frustration on your customers' part, you need to ensure that your website has effective navigation.
Here are five essential guidelines to follow about website navigation:
1. Write for the User
When it comes to website navigation, it's not just important how the navigation options look. The copy that appears in each option is equally important. A "copy" refers to text that appears in a menu option or button. Sometimes, it's also referred to as "tooltip text" or "text link."
Your navigation copy must be written from the perspective of the user.
Write a clear, concise, and specific copy so that your users know where they are and what they're looking at. In addition, avoid using too many words or technical jargon. The user will not have the patience to decipher what you're writing.
2. Make Navigations Easy to Find
The navigation options on your website need to be noticeable. The user should be able to see the navigation options at a glance. When it is hard to find, users become frustrated and annoyed.
Don't bury the navigation in a sidebar or footer. Ensure that the top of the page has a visible navigation bar for internet users scanning the page. An effective way of doing this is to use a horizontal navigation bar to display the main navigation options.
Remember to use proper capitalization and punctuation in your navigation. Misplaced commas and periods can confuse the user.
3. Provide Multiple Navigation Options
A user should be able to access your website using multiple devices and internet browsers. It would help if you offered different navigation options to accommodate these different scenarios.
For example, you can allow the user to switch between a horizontal and a vertical navigation bar or will enable them to use a dropdown menu or a submenu to explore additional links.
Incorporating multiple navigation options will provide an optimal user experience for all website visitors.
4. Make Sure that the Navigation Bar is Consistent
Consistency is vital in website navigation because users expect a certain level of predictability. When they visit a website, they wish to use the same navigation options in the same way. You must ensure that every time you use the header "Services" on your website, it relates to the same information.
Consistency is vital because it allows users to learn a website and use it successfully over time. If your website navigation is inconsistent, it's likely to confuse or even frustrate your users.
5. Test Navigation
When designing your website navigation, don't just test it on your desktop monitor. It's essential to try your navigation on multiple screen sizes to ensure that the design elements are visible to the user.
Moreover, test the navigation in all leading browsers, including Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox. You need to do your best to ensure that your navigation options are accessible from any device or website.
Navigation is important on your website because it enables users to access the information and tools. Without effective navigation, internet users will go elsewhere. You must do your best to ensure that your navigation is effective and contributes to a positive user experience.
If you need a digital marketing agency in Artesia that could help you improve your web navigation, Mountain Lotus Digital is here to assist you! We're determined to create awesome websites and help businesses thrive in the 21st century. Contact us now!