Visitors entering your website for sure would be better impressed if they could navigate through your site easy. For this you should have a website navigation menu to answer their needs and help them surf your website. Effective website navigation can perk up the design, appeal, and effectiveness of your website, leading to frequent return visitors and more satisfied users. To help you creating effective website navigation below are some good website navigation techniques to help you along the process.
The answer to effective website navigation is to uphold steadiness throughout your website. If you decide to use a top website navigation bar, incorporate exact same navigation bar design on your entire website. If you choose on different pages different website navigation bars users will be confused.
Even if the home page is the first stop for all visitors entering your website you should take into account that any page on your website could be an entry point. For this reason you should have a website navigation menu on all you website pages. You should incorporate navigation links on every page because you wouldnât want to loose the opportunity of having visitors exploring even those orphan pages (pages without clear navigation).
After you know exactly what sections you have on your website you need to decide which links to include on your navigation menu. Right after this, the next decision to make is the location of your website navigation bar. For this you must take into account existing website design and think about the advantages and disadvantages of possible locations such as:
- Left Navigation: this is a common location for most of the websites and is also considered the most intuitive. As you create the site navigation you should keep links located at the top of the page so they are all detectable without needing to scroll down.
- Right Navigation: this is not a very common location and because most visitors read from left-to-right, this navigation style tends to be difficult to put into service. This should be one of the last solutions for you.
- Top Navigation: Using top navigation is a great way to provide direction through your site without taking up a lot of room. Top navigation bars can often be easily integrated into the design scheme. The key is to keep your navigation relatively small, restricting it to the top area of the page so that your home page content is still clearly visible onscreen without needing to scroll.
One of the last pointers in creating an effective website navigation I can offer you is to decide on which type of navigation to use and for these here are some solutions:
- Text Links: it is an effective and simple solution, easy to recognize and easy to use by even new internet users. The secret of this solution is to clearly label each link. Users should understand what they will find when they click each link.
- Graphic Buttons: adds a personal touch and individual flair to your website. The most effective way to use this solution is to keep the file size small to accommodate users with slow Internet connections.
- Image Maps: An image map utilizes a single image as a navigation menu. Users can access different areas of the site by clicking on different areas of the image. Image maps are a great way to show off your web design skills, but can be slow to load and difficult for users to understand.
- Drop-down Menus: this is a good solution for a navigation structure with a big number of links, because gives you the opportunity to incorporate a lot of info in a small space. The snag of this solution is that some browser do not support the scripts needed to load these menus. If you are considering utilizing drop-down menus, try implementing an alternative navigation menu for users who cannot view your primary menu.