Now a day’ people are having no patient. Most we can see in web surfers they are basically impatient and if they find hard to figure out their needs then will return right away. Website navigation is one of the most essential and crucial element for determining the effectiveness of a website. In this article we are discussing the basic principle of designing website navigation.
To get effective website navigation you need to keep in mind that what is the clients’ requirement and especially audience on which you are targeting for. There’ always a room for creativity and well designed websites lean to have similar navigation layouts.
As a web designer we always keep in mind the basic purpose of developing a website. Most websites are built to provide the information of their services or to sell the products. Therefore there are some basic guidelines which we need to follow:
Make sure all navigational elements are clearly links by using standard conventions for links such as buttons, menus, changing color on mouse, underlining the text. Resist the temptation to use clever or illogical names for links. While using non-conventional links explicitly tell the visitor that this is a link.
Don’t forget the “three click rule” which has been adapted by most professional developers. Studies have shown that most users will not click than more than three times for searching their relevant information. So make sure your website should reach to the information in just three clicks.
Using flashy movie and heavy graphics is just a show off and that will make your page size heavy which will lead to increase of page loading. In this case we will suggest using to keep the webpage design simple yet attractive. But if you decided to make a such page then provide a META REFRESH tag to take your user to your homepage. Clearly marked button or link so the visitor can skip the entry page and go directly to your home page otherwise a large percentage of visitors will just click away never to return. Remember most visitors are looking for information not entertainment.
Important Navigation Elements
Internal Page Links – every page should be two or three clicks away from the homepage. Important pages should be on click away. The type of website will decide which links are more important.
Login Boxes – login boxes should be displayed clearly. Common locations are top left, top right or inside the page header.
Shopping Carts – if you are building an e-commerce website then use a shopping cart to sell your products, you should clearly display a view cart button on each page. The most commonly used location is the top right side just below or as part of the header.
Order Buttons – if you use individual order buttons they should be large and visible.
Breadcrumbs – are both links and a graphical representation of where you are in the site. Breadcrumbs are usually located at the top left of the page just under the header. Each word is a link back to the previous page. They are in the following form like “Home-> Articles-> Marketing”
External Links – can be used anywhere but are most frequently used inside the text areas on a website. They may be references to more information located on another site, to recommended products, or to almost anything else.
Advertisements – advertisements are usually either a graphic or text with an associated hyperlink.
Downloadable Items – if you offer downloadable items such as audio, video etc. than make sure that you should tell the user how the file big is and whether they need an application to use the file. If they do an application, provide a link to the application.
Site Map – A site map is a good way to layout your entire site for your visitor.
A good and strategic navigation system can increase the numbers of pages viewed by each visitor. This in turn can increase signups, customers, sales, members or whatever it is your site is designed to do and make your website more successful.
Guest Post By
Written by Vishal Shah, His writings are useful to everyone, from a large scale business to a small niche company. He is currently working for a web development company which is in specialized iPhone application development.