10 Website Navigation Tips to Help You Improve User Experience

Dec 22, 2016 | UX (User Experience), Website Design

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Kevin Fouche

10 Website Navigation Tips to Help You Improve User Experience

Posted by Kevin Fouche, Pixel Fish Director

Kevin handles the planning, design, launch and training of every website that Pixel Fish creates. He ensures that every website is highly engaging and aligned with our client’s goals. With over 20 years of design and web industry experience to draw upon, Kevin aims to pass on his knowledge to our clients and like-minded businesses wanting to grow their online presence.

Your website’s navigation is one of the most critical predictors of a visitor’s user experience. Visitors to your site must have a clearly defined path from your homepage into the heart of your site. Your website should be well-organised, simple, and easy to search. Let’s look at 10 Website Navigation Tips to Help You Improve User Experience.

Below are 10 website navigation tips and strategies to help visitors to your website enjoy a more positive user experience.

10 Website Navigation Tips to Improve User Experience

1. Stick to one well-organised navigation bar

Your users will instinctively look for your navigation bar to figure out how to access key information that they seek. As you design your site, avoid user confusion by creating only one horizontal navigation bar across the top of your website.

2. Feature a maximum of 6 or 7 menu selections to optimise efficiency

People value speed and efficiency when it comes to websites. Including too many items in your navigation menu can lead to indecision and delays among visitors who will be forced to spend too much time reviewing the options.

3. Make sure that your search box is easy to locate

Your website’s search box is one of the most important components of your website. It serves as a user’s key to quickly accessing the information that they desire from your site. Your search box should be located in your site’s header area or at the top of your website’s sidebar.

4. Visitors should always be able to return to your home page through your company logo

A common expectation among users is to be able to return to a website’s homepage by clicking on a company’s logo. When designing your site, ensure your logo is not simply an empty image. Users should be able to return to your homepage by clicking on your logo.

5. Use colour to help differentiate your navigation bar from the rest of your site

Use colour to make your navigation bar stand out from the background of your website. For instance, if your website’s background is pale blue, choose a darker blue colour for your navigation bar.

6. Follow the three clicks of separation guideline

Your users should not have to work hard to uncover important content. Make sure that multiple pages do not hide key information. A general rule of thumb is to ensure that users do not have to click more than two or three times to access important content.

7. Resist the urge to use drop-down menus

Drop-down menus can cause users to miss critical content on your site if they fail to move their mouse over an item in a drop-down menu. If you must use a drop-down menu, make every effort to keep the menu large and simple.

8. Do not use deceptive tactics to try to steer visitors toward a section of your site

Part of fostering a positive user experience is earning visitors’ trust to your site. One way to do this is to avoid including banners or promotional links that are disguised as icons.

9. Remember the power of simplicity

An over-abundance of pages or content can detract from your website’s overall image and can ward off users who value simplicity within a website. A concise 5-page website, on the other hand, promotes navigation, which contributes to a positive user experience.

10. Seek the input of a trusted web design firm

The best way to improve your website’s navigation is to enlist the guidance of a professional web design company. Pixel Fish is a trusted web design industry leader with the resources and design strategies to optimise your website. We invite you to contact us to find out how we can help you enhance your website’s navigation and improve user experience.

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Kevin Fouché, Pixel Fish Director