Good site navigation is a fundamental part of your website, without it users would not be able to find any content past the home page. To keep the interest of your website visitors you want to allow them to find what they are looking for in about 3 clicks, if it takes more than this then they may lose interest and leave the site.
To help visitors navigate the site quickly and easily the placement of the navigation is key. You want your navigation to be one of the first things they see, this can be accomplished quite easily.
For your primary navigation you want to place this where the users eyes will go first, most users will read from left to right and top to bottom so placing the primary navigation below a page header or at the top of a left hand sidebar is ideal. To accompany a navigation menu you can place a search bar to help user’s access content even quicker.
The placement should also be consistent from page to page. If your navigation menu is constantly switching to other locations even if they aren’t that far apart it can be very off putting for the user.
The design of your navigation menus is also important. If you try to reinvent the navigation menu you will probably end up leaving your users frustrated in trying to figure out your new menu system and have them leave your site. To combat this you should keep the look and feel familiar and make it obvious that it is a navigation menu.
The site navigation should also give the users plenty if visual indicators that is it is a menu, like making the links change slightly when the mouse hovers over them and having the link to the page you are on appear differently to the rest or giving indicators of drop down menus.
Length is an important factor to consider when creating your site navigation, if you have too many links the user may not be able to find what they are after easily or by having a few links but each has a lot of words. To make the length of a navigation menu optimal you should try to keep each link around two words and have around 7 links in total.
We hope that helps explain the fundamentals of good site navigation. If you have any further questions please feel free to leave a comment in the box below or contact us today.