In the modern world, your website is your business card. In fact, according to studies, 80% of prospects visit the website when they are checking out service providers. That is why it is crucial for businesses to offer their prospective customers an excellent user experience on the website. Several aspects of the website such as the design, development, content, etc. are essential to the successful user experience. All of these are important but nothing beats the importance of website navigation. How site visitors move around the site makes a huge difference in the user experience.
Creating clear website navigation is essential to ensuring the positive user experience people expect when they visit a website. It leads to lower bounce rates and more conversions. When your visitors browse through the site and easily find what they are looking for, you provide higher levels of satisfaction with your website and your brand. On the other hand, if your website navigation is confusing, customers will more likely leave your site with a negative impression of your brand.
We are sure you are asking: what can I do to make my website navigation clear and intuitive for the users? We have prepared a list of web navigation best practices for you to follow to ensure the best user experience on your website for your visitors.
First things first, start with a planned website structure. You can outline your website by identifying the main pages and deciding on how each page should look. Build an architecture, how all the pages should be connected and arranged. Start from the homepage and go to the secondary pages. Build the hierarchy structure. When it comes to website navigation flat hierarchy and deep hierarchy are the two most common structures. Flat websites try to make each web page available with very few clicks. Deep websites use long paths to access specific pages on the site. Although visitors and search engines take longer to find the content they are looking for, with a deep website structure you can create very exact topical pages on your website. With a flat website structure, visitors and search engines find all pages of your website quicker. The fewer pages your visitors have to go through before finding the content they are looking for, the better.
It is important to make the pages easily scannable by the users. A great way to do so is by using white space. White space is a great design tool to balance design elements and harmonize the page. It also helps to better organize content improving the visual communication experience. White space can also be used to lead a reader from one element to another.
Different headlines are another trick to use. Due to headlines 1, 2, 3 the page becomes easily readable and scalable. It also helps search engines to understand your website structure and main information, resulting in improved SEO reach. If you want to find out more tips on how to improve the SEO, check out here.
Fonts and Colors
When designing a website, for a successful navigation experience there are many key factors that will contribute to how it is perceived. Colors, typography, consistency, simplicity and functionality contribute to good website design and successful website navigation.
It is crucial to pick the right colors and fonts. According to various studies, dark text on light backgrounds tends to be the most readable. If you are looking for a clear presentation, go for this approach. For headlines or links, yellow, green, cyan and magenta are good colors to choose if you want to make text stand out. Avoid red, purple and blue on black, as they are irritating and hard to read.
Navigation Menu and Breadcrumbs
The navigation menu is important for user experience as the users do not usually have time or willingness to figure out how your website works. On a website, a navigation menu is an organized list of links to other web pages, usually internal pages. Navigation menus allow visitors to quickly access the most useful pages. It gives you a chance to prioritize the content you want visitors to read. With a navigation menu, you can take your visitor on a journey. You can start from the most important pages at the top-left of the navigation menu to the lesser important pages at the top-right of the navigation menu.
Breadcrumbs, also known as a breadcrumb trail, are a secondary navigation system that shows a user’s location in a site or web app. It is a great method to show the structure of your website to the users improving their navigation journey on your website.
Web and Mobile Optimization
Did you know that most people will leave a website in three seconds if it fails to load? That is why web and mobile optimization is highly important for providing a successful user experience on your website. It is important to optimize your website as it helps your website visitors be more successful with their visits to your website. In return with an optimized website, you make it easier for your site visitors to accomplish tasks like finding information or requesting estimates for your services. People usually optimize the website for the web and forget to optimize it for the mobile app. And that is a huge mistake. Currently, Google uses the mobile-first approach. It means that if you fail to optimize your website for the web, Google won’t push it to the front of the search results. We all agree that you want to be on Google’s “right side”. For that do website optimization for the mobile app.
What seems a minor detail plays a big role in the overall successful user experience on your website. Buttons are your calls-to-actions. Make sure you use a clear call to action. Do not forget about the importance of the right chosen colors. It is better to use colors that stimulate the users to click on the button or to take action. For instance, green is a perfect color for that.
Website navigation is essential for a successful user experience. If you follow our tips to ensure a superb user experience, your website visitors will leave with a positive experience and come back for more!