Site navigation design tips for user friendly websites
Navigation of links on your site plays a big role in determining the stickiness of your site (how long your visitor stays and explores your site). Ask yourself this, What do visitors do as soon as they open your site? They would probably read the content of the present page and then look around to find any other page that interests them. Read On!
Here are a few important tips:
- Prepare your site navigation before designing to prevent cluttering up the site with forgotten links.
- A clean-cut and uniform navigation system is a must.
- If you have too many links then you should use drop-down menus or flyouts for your main topics. If you have Fireworks create your drop-down menu navigation during the design stage or Dreamweaver then use the drop-down menus behavior are one of their most popular in-built "Behaviors".
- Maintain a site map or section contents / home pages to help people find what they are looking for with ease.
- The navigation should be flexible enough to accommodate any amount of additional links in case you probably will be adding pages periodically. For this using drop-down menus or section home pages is a must.
- Keep your main links together as much as possible so that visitors can absorb them at one shot and know what your site conveys about your company. Check out how all our major links appear in our top navigation bar and all related section links are listed in the right hand side menu.
- There is no harm is showcasing important links (even repeated links) that you think might interest the visitor. Small boxes describing the link should look good.
- If you like a graphic intensive site and find there is not much space for accommodating all your links, you can have a separate home (splash) page and all other pages as content pages. Thus your home page can have visual appeal and your inner content pages can have elaborate navigation structures while focusing on the content.
- Use your navigation space efficiently. Use short, clear and precise words in your links so that your visitors know what the corresponding page will contain.