Rules of effective website navigation

The key component of a website that determines its success is navigation. It’s a so-called gateway that leads its visitors into different sections of the content. To design it effectively, it’s important to follow some general rules:

– link your website logo to the homepage;

– allocate your navigation system at the top or left side of the site. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel unless you’re absolutely sure in what you’re doing;

– navigation should be easy to find. All web users are impatient and they won’t spend ages hanging around a site very long if they don’t have a clear path. Navigation should be a prominent element of your design. Because it usually doesn’t take a lot of space compared to other elements, it’s got to stand out enough on the site so that it doesn’t get lost amongst the rest of the content. The best place for a button bar is across the top of a page. At first, users get used to seeing it there and at second, it’s the most convenient place.

– keep it consistent. If you’ve made a decision to place a navigation bar on the left hand side, make sure it appears at the same place on all pages of the site. It should be done in the same style, colors and type. Visitors would feel much more comfortable browsing consistent website. As a rule websites, in which navigation bar keeps on changing its style, form, color and location from page to page frustrate web users and repel.

– proper and obvious section names. The section names of the site should clearly tell people what they stand for. Wherever it’s possible, try to avoid using the general terms. Be more specific so that your prospects don’t have to click on multiple buttons to get to their destination.

– a good navigation menu on a website is supposed to cut down the number of clicks required to move from one page to another. The number of clicks from one page to another shouldn’t exceed 3;

– don’t over complicate your website. Too many navigation buttons can leave your users with too many choices.


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