When designing a website, one of the most important elements you need to design is your navigation. The navigation is what allows your visitors to find the information about products or services that they need in order to make purchasing decisions from you. Without intuitive and efficient navigation, you may come to find that people don’t spend much time on your website and have a hard time locating the information they came there to find. So to help you have an effective and easy-to-use website, here are three rules you should follow when designing your website’s navigation.
Stick To One Navigation Bar
Your main objective when designing the navigation for your website should be simplicity. In keeping with this idea, Cody Ray Miller, a contributor to CrazyEgg.com, shares that you should only have one navigation bar for your entire website. When you start having multiple navigation bars, things just get confusing and messy. This can make it harder for your visitors to get to where they want to be on your website, which means your design isn’t very effective. So if you currently have multiple bars for your website navigation, start trimming them down until you just have one main form of navigation for your site.
Skip The Drop Down Menus
While you may think that drop down menus are a great way to show more of your content in your main navigation bar, drop down menus actually usually cause more harm than good in your navigation. According to Andy Crestodina, a contributor to KISSMetrics, not only are drop down menus hard for search engines to crawl, but they also can be very annoying and confusing for your visitors as well. When your visitor thinks they’re clicking on a link but it’s actually just a drop down menu for other links, it can cause confusion in the mind of your users, which could make them not follow through with the action they were planning on taking. This is something you should try to avoid causing, which means getting rid of your drop down menus.
Embrace Content Hierarchies
Rather than using drop down menus, Benji Arriola, a contributor to Search Engine Journal, recommends that you embrace the idea of content hierarchies. This means that you create the navigation and content of your website like a silo where you have categories and subcategories that flow from them. For example, if you had a fitness website with a navigation tab titled Workout Reviews, like AllWorkoutRoutines.com, all of your workout routines would fall under this hierarchy rather than being spread randomly throughout your website. This can make it easier for your content to be found as well as help you know where you should be putting new content you’re creating within your current navigation structure.
If you’re interested in improving your website’s navigation, consider using the tips mentioned above give your design a facelift.