When it comes to looking up things on the Internet, surfers are not too patient today, and if a website is laid out wrong or is hard to use, they quickly leave for another site. When link connections are not obvious, you are really wasting money with a great web design. Website navigation is a vital part in determining the navigational effectiveness of a website.
For effective website navigation there must be a common sense approach that makes sense to the average consumer. Well designed websites with great navigation have similar layouts.
Web designers need to keep in mind the target aim of the website, and who it is designed to reach when designing navigational functions. Most websites exist to do two things, 1. Give information about a product or service. 2. To then to get them to buy the product or service.
All navigation elements should be clearly linked to standard conventions for creating links, like buttons, click menus, underlining the in text links with different colors. The temptation to be cleaver is a mistake in most cases. If the user doesn’t understand your links, they won't be there long. Commonality is important in creating navigational links.
When you have a link that is not common, tell your visitor that it is a link. The three click rule is that most users will not click more than three links to get to what they are looking for. This means that every page on your website should be able to be reached within three clicks.
Top page menu bars; these usually are located directly below a page headers graphic's that contains an item like the site logo. These menus come in specified links that can be drop downs and expanding format menus. Each menu item should be represented by a picture tab of some kind that makes it plain and easy to be distinguished. Left side navigation as it is called today, is typically placed in a vertical line or text area on the left portion of the webpage. Like the top menu navigational tabs, each item can be individually linked or allowed to expand.
When it comes to bottom menus, it is protocol to offer a menu bar at the footer; they can be graphic tabs or highlighted text links. In most cases, the use of footers should be almost always text links.
Page Links, Every page connected to the website should be within two or three clicks from the home page. Important pages should only be one easy click away. The type of website will determine which links are more abundantly displayed.
There are a host of ideas that have worked to some degree such as login boxes, which should be prominently displayed, Shopping Carts need to be clear and easy to use, and Order Buttons should be large and highly visible.
Cohesive Web Design
330 E Greenville St
Greenville, SC 29601