Website Must-Haves #9: Navigation

Design Angler - Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Perhaps one of the biggest factors to keep visitors on your website is having a good, solid navigation system that supports all search preferences. In fact, more than three-quarters of survey respondents from a recent HubSpot study say that the most important factor in website design is ease in finding information. The overall rule with a proper navigation structure is simple: don’t require visitors to have to think about where they need to go and how to get there. Make it easy for them.

Here are some suggestions to simplify the website's structure:

  • Keep the structure of your primary navigation simple (and near the top of your page).
  • Include navigation in the footer of your site.
  • Use breadcrumbs on every page (except for the homepage) so people are aware of their navigation trail.
  • Include a Search box near the top of your site so visitors can search by keywords.
  • Don’t offer too many navigation options on a page.
  • Don’t dig too deep - in most cases it’s best to keep your navigation to no more than three levels deep.
  • Include links within your page copy and make it clear where those links go. This is also great for SEO!
  • Avoid use of complicated animation for your navigation. Many mobile phones can’t see flash (yet), therefore will not be able to navigate your website.

25 Website Must-Haves