Your website visitors want to be able to quickly and simply navigate your website. In order to help them seamlessly navigate from page to page, here’s a few navigation styling and design tips to help you succeed in this endeavor:
1.TRANSPARENCY IS IMPORTANT
Navigation isn’t the place to showcase your creativity. It doesn’t impress your visitors, nor does it help your search-engine-optimization. Your contact information page will get more hits if you label it “Contact Us” than it would if you listed it as “Engage Our Team” or some other schmoozy phrase. Same with your “About Us” page. Don’t call it “Meet & Greet”. Just call it “About Us”. Users visually scan your navigation bar looking for familiar phrases that are used by most sites, so they’re likely to get frustrated when they don’t find them easily. Aaway from the navigation bar, any links within the content area of your site should have an underline, which is widely recognized as an indicator of a link.
2. LEAVE TRICKY VISUALS OUT OF YOUR NAVIGATION
Yes, it’s neat when your pictures do flips or change to black and white when you hover over them, but if it’s confusing your users – ditch it. Users shouldn’t have to hunt for navigation Easter eggs that only show up when they hover over the right spot. The logic you base your navigation on might not be so obvious to all users and you don’t want to lose a single one just because you think that most would get it. Even those that would get it might not have the patience and will have clicked off to find a better user experience on your competitors’ websites.
3. KEEP IT SIMPLE
If you have a ton of pages, you still need to avoid excessive drop down menus. Use parent category menu items and when a visitor hovers over that parent category, then a second menu of all the child-categories of that parent should appear, but not before then. Also, avoid further frustration by keeping the navigation bar clean. If you have more than a handful of navigation links, relocate the least visited links to the footer of the site. Users that need these links will automatically scroll to the bottom looking for them. That’s why many websites locate site maps, help links, and contact information in the footer.
Need help simplifying YOUR website’s navigation? Contact our Hoboken office today and discuss the possibilities today!