Website Navigation: Best Practices
Imagine the scene: You’ve been wanting to treat yourself to a new laptop bag for a while. Finally, you get the time to sit down, browse different designs online and pick your favorite. After many deliberations, you’ve found the perfect bag and want to make your purchase. But then - horror of horrors - you can’t locate the “Buy Me” button, the shopping cart icon has disappeared, and the return policy is nowhere to be seen. It all seems far too complicated, and eventually, you give up in favor of another brand.
This is a classic example of how website navigation can make or break a user’s experience, ultimately affecting traffic, conversion and bounce rates. Good website navigation can help users find the content they’re looking for, and offer them a positive experience that will encourage them to return. When creating a website, take into account that many different aspects go into forming a good user experience - from the visual appeal of your site, to its layout, your use of text and more - but ease of navigation is a key factor.
Here are 11 tips for improving your website navigation and ensuring happy, returning visitors:
Plan your navigation
Prioritize your pages
Stick to conventions
Consider creating a sticky menu
Limit the number of items in your menu
Create mega dropdown menus if necessary
Add a search bar
Label your menu clearly
Link the logo back to the homepage
Indicate what page the user is on
Ensure visitors can reach any page from any page