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Website Navigation – Get Down to Basics

By on August 2nd, 2017 in Web

You decided you need a website. The next step – what content pages do you need?  This can take many different directions depending on the business you are a part of.  In all cases though, your goal should be to get your site’s visitors to the information they need with as little effort as possible on their part.

  1. Prioritize your pages.

    It’s important to make your top level navigation as simple as possible. Traditionally, this will mean keeping the number of main sections to a small number, and if possible, try to organize your pages into 5 sections or less.

  2. Simplify.

    Websites can get complicated very quickly. Trim the fat. If it isn’t a page of information your user needs or something that relates directly to your business, there is no reason to have it on your site.  You will only make things harder for the user and ultimately frustrate them.  A set of questions you should ask yourself when adding content to your site: Is this something that our customers would only seek out our business to learn? Or is it just filler they could easily find somewhere else on the internet?  Only use what you absolutely need and keep it simple.

  3. Combine and Categorize.

    One way to make your content easier to navigate is to combine pages that have similar content into one page. As long as the combined page doesn’t become too overwhelmed with content, you can combine pages to save your visitors some time.  You also should consider how you organize your pages.  Try to reduce the amount of clicks that a user has to make to find a page.  One way of doing this would be to create what we call a “Mega Menu”.  In a Mega Menu, you will only need to click twice.  Click once on the top level navigation, and then a second time on the page under that menu.  Also, be sure to use sub headers within that menu to organize your links.

To conclude, when building a website, quality most always wins over quantity.  Keeping your content short and to the point will get your users the information they need without making them search for it.  Also, making a conscious choice on organization will go a long way to creating an efficient and well-functioning website.