9 Best Practices For Website Navigation: Design Examples And Tips

July 29, 2022  /  
Website Navigation

Website navigation is one of the critical elements of web design. It's how users get around a site and find the content they're looking for. It allows users to go from one page to the next without feeling frustrated trying to find what they need.

However, if you find a site easy to navigate and use, they’re most likely to return, engage further with the website, and respond to your call to action. Here are a few simple best practices to help you improve your website’s navigation experience. 

Best Practices For Better Website Navigation

1. Emphasize Hypertexts.

Links are important components of website navigation, and customers should know where to click to get to another page or part of your website. If they can’t distinguish body text from hypertext, they won’t go where you want them to go. 

Making hypertext obvious is as simple as ensuring it stands out from all other elements on the page–  not just when the visitor rolls over it. Make it bold, underlined, or a different color. Alternatively, you can turn your header navigation links into buttons.

2. Use Streamlined And Standard Navigation Bars 

Some websites have a lot of links in the navigation bar, while others have very few. Make it clear what you want your customers to do when they land on your page. Strike a balance, as this might be different from what they actually want.

Visiting your website might interest your visitors, but you might also want them to become customers. Don’t hide your company details in favor of excessive call-to-action buttons to avoid customers clicking and exiting the site altogether.

Organize links without cluttering by using menus, sub-menus, and categories. Navigation bars should also be in the familiar places customers expect, such as the header, right or left sidebar, and the footer. 

3. Ensure Navigation Bars Are Responsive To Mobile Devices.

Millions of smartphone users worldwide access websites on their mobile devices. Most website themes have responsive mobile layouts you can quickly implement on your site. Ensure your navigation links are transformed correctly and are not too small or crowded.

Mobile layouts work best with hamburger navigation, one of the types of website navigation to be familiar with when building or revamping your website.

4. Make Your Sidebars Stand Out

Sidebars should look different than the rest of the page. Some website designers accomplish this by using a different background color than the rest of the site. 

For some, whitespace also works. The goal is to ensure customers can quickly identify sidebars and find the navigation links they need to use your site with ease.  

5. Use Short But Descriptive Title Menus

Most users would appreciate clear and straightforward prompts. Despite clever content, choose easy-to-understand words for your navigation bars. 

Simple words like “About,” “Contact,” and “Services” are already universal prompts that are quite self-explanatory for users to understand– ensure you apply these accordingly. Remember that long menu titles clutter the navigation bar and potentially won’t show properly on the mobile version.

6. Maximize The Footer

You can include additional links in the website footer instead of crowding the header navigation bar. In order to prevent customers from scrolling up, some websites repeat the header links in the footer. This also includes other relevant links that visitors will find useful.

Most ready-built themes found in website builders already include options for fat footers, so make sure to check them out. If you opt to use fat footers, categorize the links and use mega headers that stand out. 

7. Use Buttons For Effective Call To Action

Gone are the days when every link in a website navigation bar used buttons to make them stand out. Buttons in navigation bars result in ugly, clunky websites, especially on mobile. 

Instead of buttons, use simple hypertext links. Reserve the buttons for call-to-actions and limit placing several in various corners of the interface. 

8. Use Good Website Navigation To Achieve Business Goals

When planning your navigation links, strike a balance between pages that might interest your visitors and links that lead them through the funnel. User experience is essential, but you should also funnel visitors to the most critical sales and conversion pages. Directing visitors to those fundamental pages will dramatically increase profit.

9. Experiment With Sticky Navigation Menus

A trend in website design is to use sticky navigation menus that follow the user as they scroll down. These menus are helpful if you have a call-to-action at the header bar that you want visitors to click. When using sticky navigation, ensure it works well with the rest of the site and that the header menu is not overwhelming. 

Why Is Website Navigation That is Easy to Understand So Important?

A good website navigation design helps users and search engines effortlessly sort through your content. It helps increase search engine ranking, page views, user experience, and site conversions. 

Smart business solutions require a good website navigation design in order to achieve long-term goals. Check our blogs at Page Kits to read about website navigation examples and learn more about web design.

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