(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – The most important aspect to consider when designing your website is the user experience. If your target audience has come to your website, you want to make sure that they are having their needs met and their questions answered. A slow or confusing website is detrimental to your online success, because it is likely that you main competition also has a web presence, and customers might enjoy the feel of that site more than yours. It is imperative to keep your users happy, and to anticipate their needs and questions before they arrive to the website. One of the foremost areas you can improve the user experience of your business website is with the navigation.
Navigation on a website simply refers to how a user moves through the site from page to page, finding the information that is relevant to them. In many cases, a visitor may come to a page not immediately relevant, and need to find their way to the information they’re trying to access. In other words, the easier it is for a user to move from Page A to Page B, the less likely it is that they will get frustrated and leave the website altogether. What are some ways to make navigation easy for your visitors?
Provide a small selection of pages for visitors to choose from.
Typically, the best place to include your navigation menu is at the top of the page, and it should remain consistent across the whole website. Break your site’s information down into specific categories that are intuitive to a general visitor of your website.
Allow users to use a search function to find what they’re looking for.
For users that are still unable to decide where to go based on the categories you determined for your menu, you should allow search functionality to the navigation as well. This allows your visitors to directly input the information they’re looking for, and it will take them to the appropriate page.
Include a link to the home page on every page of the site, to allow users to easily get back.
As a user navigates through the website, there may be a time where they want to get back to the original homepage quickly and easily. You should provide a link in your navigation menu that can always get them back to where they started. Typically this is the largest link in a navigation menu.
Provide users with clearly labeled menus for information.
Even the most seamless navigation menu can become confusing if the links are not clearly labeled. Try to use terms for which a user would most likely be searching. Labels such as “Products”, “Services”, and “Contact us” are good examples of navigation links that give a clear indicator of where they lead.
If you have any other suggestions on a helpful navigation for website visitors, feel free to leave them in a comment below!
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