Top navigation mistakes to avoid in web design

by | Jun 28, 2017 | All News

Mazes can be fun, but trying to find out way out of a fairly complex one may make them not seem so fun anymore. They can certainly be downright frustrating. A web design, should therefore be everything that a maze is not. It should show visitors, (which are all potential customers by the way), where to go and indeed how to get there.

If users are struggling to find what they are looking for on your website, they will leave. It’s as simple as that. So, we at Mobo have put together a few top navigational DON’Ts which designers should definitely keep in find to implement an effective user journey.

Making navigation difficult

What could we feature that’s easier than allowing users to shop by categories on an ecommerce website? Perhaps a search bar that they can quickly find specific items and jump to those pages directly.

There are two main reasons why designers should make navigation as easy as this:

  1. It makes traffic use your website more often.
  2. It makes it so much more clear where conversations can be started and actions can be taken.

All designers know that user journeys should be an easy process, and that every navigational link should have a smooth and easy progression. This is exactly why elements like colour schemes and fonts are important. You can make the user journey super easy by:

Making navigational journeys consistent:

People that navigate from one site to another, owned by the same brand, expect clear and consistent elements to stay the same direction they were following. So, if menu items aren’t clear or look different on each page, it might confuse a visitor and encourage them to opt out and leave. To spare visitors of a complex and frustrating time surfing your website, then keep all elements consistent and to the same theme.

Giving users too many options

Give your visitors a fewer amount of choice, this will make them decide faster. This is exactly why a menu bar with fewer options will receive more attention than one which requires users to scroll down for a lengthy amount of time in order to get to the option they want. To avoid this happening on your website, keep options limited to those that are valuable. You can do this by:

Spreading your options into other menus:

Prioritize what matters to your target audience and place them in front and secondary options. These can be put into hidden menus that users can access later.

Consider the side menu on a web application which can be accessed. Web designers often include options such as user profile, groups joined, and other secondary value options to help the user experience on the side menu. Or you can spread your navigation options at the bottom of the screen in a separate sidebar.

Reinventing navigation patterns

Why is the back button always on the top left of a website? It is because people associate this direction as backwards. This is why this placement is standard in web design, putting it anywhere else would just confuse visitors. Keep this consistency throughout a website, if something works and isn’t confusing, then do it.

Basically, designers know that a good user journey relies on seamless and clear navigation. To avoid mistakes, stick to the top tips above.

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