One of the most important elements to any website design is ease of navigation; the ability of visitors to find the information they need and thus, keep them on your site as they explore all you have to offer. Any roadblock, such as requiring multiple clicks to reach their desired information, or plug-in requirements to view your content can send a potential customer away from your website in a hurry.
Still, over and over again we see websites that try to use chic design features as a means to elevate their navigation tools …at their own peril, of course.
Key tips to consider:
- Simple, clear, structured navigation near the top of your website, as well as within the footer.
- Include a search box for ease of searching your pages by keywords.
- When possible, keep your sub-menus no more than 3 levels deep.
- Limit the number of navigational options on a page
- Including links to other pages within your body text content encourages further exploration while also boosting your SEO.
Avoid fancy or complicated Java Script and Flash in your navigation, as it often requires a visitor to have updated software and limits the ability of mobile users (at present) to navigate your website.