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5 tips for designing great website navigation

24-11-2021

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Navigation might actually be the most important element of your business website. First of all, it offers a high-level overview to your customers and lets them know all they need about your business and what you offer. The goal of great website navigation is to make it easy for your visitors to get around your website and find what they are looking for. Website navigation that is too complicated and challenging to figure out will most likely drive away your customers.

On the other hand, if the website is easy to work with and customers can figure it out within the first few seconds of looking at it, they are more likely to stick around and see what you’re offering. On top of that, great website navigation will enable your visitors to quickly access their shopping cart and search the site easily and quickly as well.

As a web designer, your goal is to create website navigation that your visitors will be able to get the most from. So, how do you make such efficient website navigation?

Well, here you can take a look at the five helpful tips on how you can build website navigation that is easy to work with and that will surely attract more customers to your business website.

5 tips for designing great website navigation


How to Design Great Website Navigation

Most of the time designers tend to take website navigation for granted. They either neglect it or don’t pay enough attention to it. As long as it’s on the top of the business website, is not cluttered, and contains all of the necessary links the customers need, they think that their job is done. Well, that’s not exactly right.

Navigation has such a huge and important role in customer website experience and it needs to be designed with care. Website navigation can be a deciding factor in whether the new visitors will end up sticking around and purchasing the products off the website or leaving the page and never coming back. For that reason, you need to pay close attention to how you design the website navigation. These are the top 5 tips that will help you create efficient website navigation that is easy and quick to use.


TIP #1: MAKE THE LOGO PROMINENT

The brand logo is what makes the business recognisable. It’s what makes the business unique and it helps the business stand out. In a way, the logo is like a digital face of the company. It represents the business on all online and social media platforms, as well as email signatures, and so on. As such, the logo is a very important part of creating recognition, loyalty, and trust within your brand.

When designing website navigation, you want to utilise that power of the brand logo. In other words, you need to make sure that the brand logo is correctly sized, placed, and spaced on top of the website. In order to ensure that all of these factors are fine-tuned and done correctly, here are some general rules you can follow as a form of guidance:

  • Link: Make sure to link the brand logo on the Home page.
  • Placement: Place the brand logo in the top left corner of the website if possible. In case you prefer to place the logo in the website centre, don’t forget to place a Home link in the top left corner of the page as well.
  • Size: You also need to make sure you chose an adequate size for the brand logo. It’s important that every detail is easily noticeable and the customer can read it without issue. The ideal logo sizes would be 250px x 100px for rectangular logos and 160px x 160px for square logos. However, the size of the logo you pick will also depend on how much space you want the logo to take up ad how much space you want to leave for the links.

Just remember that making the logo any bigger than it needs to be without making the font size bigger will most likely leave too much space around the website navigation. So, you need to reach that perfect balance where the logo is not too big but also not too small. It’s all about finding that middle ground.


TIP #2: MAKE THE HEADER STICKY

Websites usually have tons of information to share with visitors. The amount of information a website has can be overwhelming sometimes. So, in order to create a cohesive website that won’t overwhelm its readers, you should design the website pages in separate sections by adding plenty of white spaces in between those segments. With sectioning like this, web pages tend to grow to be quite long.

Is that the main problem, though? Actually, it’s not. If the content you are providing is relevant and interesting enough, the visitors will scroll through them and take a look at everything you are offering. However, the issue arises when the visitors have to scroll back all the way to the top of the page once they’re done. This can be quite tiring and unnecessary, especially when the visitors of your web page are using their smartphones to scroll through your content. So, why not make this easier for them?

There is quite a simple solution to this problem – a sticky header. This convenient little feature doesn’t just stick to the top of the web page. As the reader scrolls through the content of your web page, the navigation bar on the top of the page shrinks up and stays visible on the screen. Even though it becomes much smaller, it can still be used. That way, at any point throughout the page, the visitor can easily be brought back to the top of the web page with just one click.

The logo will still be in its original place, the navigation links are visible the whole time, and since the navigation bar shrinks, it doesn’t take too much space and the visitor can read the content without being bothered by the navigation bar.


TIP #3: HIGHLIGHT THE CURRENT PAGE THE VISITOR IS ON

When designing a web page, you should help the visitors by allowing them to see what page they’re on.

The top of the page can give clues, but if you want a reader to have a more visible marker that would give them a quicker reference as to where they are on the page, you can highlight the current page. The faster they find where they are, the faster they will move on to exploring the next segment on the page.

There are a few different ways to mark the current page for the visitors. For instance, the colours can change for every new segment the reader reaches. Another great marker is to use a coloured line that is placed beneath the page that the visitor is currently reading. For a more prominent option, you can insert a block of colour around the page the visitor is currently scrolling through.


TIP #4: ONLY USE RECOGNISABLE ICONS

Another useful element of web design is iconography. Since the goal is to create a website that attracts a lot of new visitors and customers, you want to use icons that are recognisable. They are used to visually communicate what your business is about as well as to make a point. You can either choose to implement stand-alone icons or you can pair them with text labels.

Along with other useful elements of an effective web design, icons and the overall appearance of your website can affect your website’s ranking in Google Search. Consulting an SEO agency about these and many other useful digital marketing strategies can help you boost your website’s traffic.


TIP #5: ORGANISE MEGA MENUS, SO THEY’RE EASY TO PERUSE

Lastly, take your time when you’re organising the website. You want your website navigation to reflect a careful system of organisation that you took time to put in order.

The mega menu has been a standard for web navigation design, especially for websites that use tons of links and multiple levels of home pages. Not only is it well-organised, but it’s also highly effective.

If you want to organise a mega menu, there are several useful design tactics similar to those you would use for organising a regular web page that you can try:

  • Bolded headers
  • Columns for related pages
  • Images to highlight important pages

Organising a page into headers and columns will make it easier for your customers to browse through your website and find what they want according to the categories and pages that are available.

However, if a mega menu feels like it’s too much for your website, there are great alternatives you can try out too. For instance, you can try using traditional single-level navigation and then use the search page as a navigational tool where people can use specific filters to find what they’re looking for.


Conclusion

In conclusion, website navigation is a huge part of a web design process. Making sure that customers can understand and navigate the page easily is very important. So, following these 5 useful tips will help you create efficient web navigation that anyone can work out easily.



Article by Pankaj Shah: DCP Web Designers London


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