Best Practices for Improvising Navigation
Today’s online crowd has become quite an impatient one, because there is an availability of ease of access for so many services today. The same goes with the website as well. If the website is not user friendly and is not easily accessible then the changes of its survival in this competitive market become very dull.
That’s how an organized word ‘Website Navigation’ comes into picture. This element has now become one of the most crucial elements elevating the effectiveness of the website. A proper website navigation system is able to fill various loopholes of a website.
It’s always and always necessary that while designing a website and its navigation, a web designer should have consider the basic purpose of the website otherwise the entire navigation strategy may fail even after successful implementation. A deep analysis of the following elements has to be observed before designing the navigation structure.
- Nature of business
- Target audience
- Category of product/services
- Product buying process
- Service consumption process
- The informational content for the website
Only after analyzing the above points, a well set navigation structure and designing strategy is formulated where a standardized design process is executed for elements like menu, header, text, buttons, pointers etc.
Always and always remember that your online visitor has not come here for any entertainment but for the information, so you have to make the most in those 5 to 10 seconds wherein the visitor is relaxed and satisfied because he has now got what he was searching for, in a matter of seconds and that within three clicks at the maximum.
If you are applying any link to provide any further information then you to properly explain this to your online audience so that they would know that for what reason a particular link is being put. This entire thing avoids any confusions and negative impressions.
There are some of the major practices and points which can be noted and considered to improvise website navigation.
Menu is not an alien word anymore; indeed this is the simplest tool of navigation. But still merely having a menu is not enough today. What matters the most is how well your menu is displayed and in which format. The ways of representing menus can be endless; it all depends on the creativity after all.
Currently most of the menus include using them with subtitles in CSS. They can also be used via page separation method. This is good for maintaining the informational content in an organized way wherein the visitor is able to mentally categorize the information. This in turn promotes the visitor to take further action.
Various kinds of menus can be worked upon:
- Left hand navigation menu
- Top navigation menu
- Combination of left hand and top navigation menu
- Right hand navigation menu
- Bottom menu
CATEGORY & PAGE SEPARATION
The separation method has been being followed previously also and will continue to be applied for an effective content management, where the navigational categories are separated in an organized way thus bringing ease of access to the online visitors and eventually meeting the goals of the website.
The category and page separation method is basically applied on those websites where the content is really heavy like blogs, portals, news, learning material etc. Now since the content is too heavy here, so a proper title is created for each topic and is placed in such a manner so that it is visible effectively for the online user.
The ultimate objective of this technique is to bring an online visitor in a more comfortable via an ease of access menu, better visibility, creating interest and better interaction.
The icons are also gaining a lot of popularity these days in the context of providing navigation. These are basically used when the visual representation is given more priority over the text. The usage of icons has become very trendy these days as it seems uncluttered and is very easy to find.
THE SIDE TABS
The side tabs and sidebars are becoming very common these days over the web pages. However there has been a long debate over there implementation as these cannot be created purely with CSS which might create problem for SEO. Still they can be applied or better say are being applied for creating a non conventional design. They can be aptly applied on such pages where the content is not too heavy such portfolios.
THE POST HEADER MENU
The post header menu is basically the area of top navigation where the navigational bar is just below the header of the web page. The main objective of a post header is to create an interest in the minds of an online visitor. Always remember that there has to be a balance between the header and the post header menu, as the header has its own appeal factor that grabs the eyeballs and the top navigation menu has to be highlighted separately, not cramming with the main header. All the major informational tabs have to be present for which an online visitor searches along with the appropriate call to action buttons.
The usage of effective pointers has shown an upsurge in the recent trends. They are being implemented with a motto of adding visual appeal and bringing more attention and engagement from the online audience perspective. These are basically the graphical elements which give a new boost to the navigation bar by their hover effects, which in turn create a better interaction.
Some other important navigational elements which can be implemented and improvised are:
|Internal Page Links||Login Boxes||Shopping Carts|
|Order Buttons||Breadcrumbs||External Links|
|Advertisements||Downloadable Items||Site Map|
So from the above points we can see that if we follow an organized practice in improvising the navigation system and standards, we can take the website onto news heights by raising its quality, ease of access, better usability, increasing engagement and conversions.