9 Best Practices for Designing Your Site’s Navigation
In my last post I talked a bit about – A Holistic Approach to Growing Your Business.
Keeping the nature of your business focused on one ultimate objective with complimentary “arms” to it should ensure that whilst you don’t have all your “eggs in one basket” … each part of your business should be complimentary to the other parts.
Another one of the most important aspects outside of aesthetics and a working multi business opportunity website is your site’s navigation. If your site is not easy to get around for both your visitors and search engine robots, then it will be hard for your ideal customers to even find your site or get around inside it. Thankfully, there are some simple but rudimentary guidelines to help you best design and organize your site’s navigation.
1. Navigation Labels Need to Make Sense – Don’t try to be overly clever when it comes to putting words to your navigation labels. Use the words people have come to expect for each page of your website, especially home, blog, and contact information. Being too descriptive might seem interesting to you but it will just be confusing to your visitors.
2. Navigation Elements Need to Be Where Expected – Many website designers love to be creative with navigation elements for the sake of design. But, while you want your website to look amazing “keeping it simple” is key, you can’t overlook the fact that users need the navigation elements to be where expected, which currently is at the top of the site.
Take a look at the image below and take note of the layout in the Business Labs Pro (BLP) website which is an excellent example of good website layout. The BLP Marketing System is a state of the art online marketing system that has been developed to successfully market any online business niche with ease and success. As you can see the navigation buttons are clearly laid out along the top of the site and easily navigated. What’s more the site is very reasonably priced for anyone looking for a system to market their home/online business, just click on the image for access.
3. Give Lots of Thought to Your Site’s Information Architecture – As you consider your website and what information or content will be included in it, think about which categories, organization and labeling you’ll use to describe the information that can be found on your website. It should flow seamlessly and make sense to users, but it is also important to remember to use keywords that search engines like too.
4. Navigation Needs to Stand Out – Don’t try to hide navigation in design. You want it to stand out and be obviously visible, or your users will not know what to do. They won’t know to click on something if it’s not clearly displayed. You don’t want to have to say “click here” each time, though you want it to stand out so that people are sure they are supposed to “click here” … so to speak.
5. Navigation Needs to Be Scannable – Try to keep top navigation minimal so that it is scannable to the human eye as well as the search engine robots. This means that each word should make sense immediately and give the user a clue of what to do next.
6. Navigation Needs to Make Sense to Users – Users are used to seeing Home, Contact Us, Blog, and other buttons to help drive them forward. These should be placed where users expect it, which as mentioned is at the top, and they should have the right words on them that mean something to the users.
7. Avoid Right Justification of Text – It can be tempting to make the site look balanced and interesting with right justified text, but you don’t want to do that. People are used to reading text that is left justified, so keep all text on the site that way.
8. Ensure Colors Don’t Hurt Your Eyes – When you develop your color palette, it can affect navigation if the colors don’t blend well together and hurt the eyes. Don’t be held to certain colors before you see how it looks online.
9. Make Fonts Readable – The same can be said for fonts that can be said for colors. You may have a wonderful idea for fonts for your brand, but they simple don’t work online and interfere with your site’s navigation design by clouding the view.
The purpose of your website’s navigation is to enable your visitors to view what they want and to accomplish a specific task such as buying your products, or signing up for a newsletter, or clicking on ads. Plus, of course, to provide information to your visitors that they care about so they can make choices. In order to do this well, it’s imperative that you keep your knowledge updated regarding customer preferences.