Easy to use, fluid, and visually impressive navigation should be a key component of any website. You want visitors to your site to be able to travel from page to page easily and find what they are looking for.
Below are five tips for better website navigation layout:
#1. Large Buttons and Menus.
Incorporating large, well-spaced buttons and menus is one of the easiest to overlook during the design phase. Visitors can get easily frustrated and decide to go elsewhere on the Web.
Finding buttons are too small to click or are so closely cramped that visitors unintentionally click the wrong button can dissuade them from visiting other portions of your site. Also, keep it simple and don’t have too many buttons competing for attention.
#2. Identify Each Page.
Once a visitor has clicked on a link to another page on your site, they should not have any doubts about what page they are currently on. Be sure to make the title of the page and URL path easily understandable. You cannot count on the content alone to make it clear to a reader that he or she is on your “Recent News” as opposed to your “About Us” page on your website.
#3. Think of it Like an E-Book.
If a reader is likely to be browsing through multiple pages of information on your site, make the process as simple as possible. Include some means of going forward or back and a way of selecting a specific page.
“Previous” and “Next” buttons are an easy solution to helping your readers browse your content, and including at least five links nearby page numbers can help readers skip ahead by more than a single page at a time.
#4. Emphasize Placement.
If you have the need for “Previous” or “Next” buttons, be sure that these bookend the current page. Readers expect to find them there, and it is best not to make your website’s visitors do too much searching in order to browse other portions of your site.
It is likely that they will instead choose to go somewhere else. You can even make navigation simpler by placing these buttons at both the top and bottom of the page.
Some examples of how to position these buttons are [Previous Page] [Current Page] [Next Page] and [Previous] [1,2,3,4,5] [Next]. Choosing the style is up to you, but keep the positions in familiar locations.
#5. Avoid Underlining.
While some designers would recommend even failing to underline hyperlinks that appear on your site–something that you may wish to consider as a style choice–it is very important to avoid underlining text.
Readers anticipate that underlined material actually contains a hyperlink, and readers may be frustrated, thinking that certain phrases or words should lead them elsewhere on your site. Others, however, may miss actual hyperlinks because they have seen too many false ones elsewhere in your content.
Incorporating these five tips for better website navigation layout can help your readers continue browsing your site’s content and allow you to produce more sales. Conversion rates are a key to a website’s performance.