5 Tips for Website Navigation Design Success

August 20, 2012 2 min read

A website is only as good as its navigation. If an online user can’t navigate your site, then they will never make it further than page one. Here are 5 tips for website designers looking to create a website that is easily navigated.

#1 One and Two Word Titles– This is a pretty difficult request, but if you can manage it, you will be ahead of the game. Keep a one or two word title for each page. This will make navigation simple to read and comprehend as well as make the website look clean and not cluttered with unnecessary words. If you need to employ a freelance writer to get this done, do it, because it will be worth the extra cost.

#2 Be Clear – There is almost always an obvious answer when it comes to setting up navigation, naming pages, and more. While it might seem like a cop out to just use “About Us” or “FAQ” like everyone else, stick with what’s normal because that is what your audience will most likely want. Cutesy and creative will often times only equate to confusing when it comes to navigation.

#3 Uniformity – Make all navigation elements consistent. This means use the same arrow, same hyperlink color, same everything when it comes to moving customers from one page to another. This consistency will help customers feel secure in their actions and not concerned that they are headed somewhere on your site they don’t want to be.

#4 Make Back Tracking Simple – Don’t just depend on the back button on a user’s web browser to get them back to where they want to be. Always keep a “trail” of where they are in your site at the top of page (home – tops – knits – product #xxx). Customers want to know they can return to where they’ve been without a struggle. Also, this is important for people who are making purchasing decisions and trying to compare two options. Don’t lose a sale because of shoddy navigation.

#5 Test – One of the best ways to find holes in your navigation is with ample testing. Don’t just have your web designer and the head of your company do testing. Also bring in outsiders to look at the site with a fresh pair of eyes. Everyone has different levels of needs and expectations when it comes to navigation. You want to make sure it is easiest for your pickiest customer, because then you know everyone else will be happy.

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