Firstly the links in the navigation of your website design should be designed to look like links. Whilst that sounds an obvious point, all too often navigation menus are hidden or less apparent than they could be. What is less obvious is that the way to maximise the use of a menu goes beyond its aforementioned primary purpose so that it becomes a major part of the whole ensemble.
The title of each link is very important and not so easy to get right. What you term your products and services may not be how your customers term them and search for them. Equally from an online marketing (SEO) and search engine optimisation (SEO) point of view, to get the most impact with the search engines it is best to use terms in the links that reflect what people are searching for to find you. Our ATB Innovation experts can help you there.
There are a few common sense rules to remember here within good website design. Links to travel around your site should be easy to find, towards the top of the page and easy to identify. They should look like navigation links or buttons and be well described. The text of a button should be pretty clear as to where it’s taking you. Aside from common sense, it’s also important to make navigation usable. For example, if you have a rollover sub-menu, ensuring a person can get to the sub-menu items without losing the rollover is important. Similarly changing the colour or image on rollover is excellent feedback for a user as to the interaction of the menu to identify it knows where you want to be.
Orientation — Where are you now?
When a user is navigating around your website there are lots of ways you can orient your user so they know where they are and have easy routes back to where they were. In small sites, it might be just a matter of a big heading or a ‘down’ version of the appropriate button in your menu. In a larger site, you might make use of bread crumb trails, sub-headings and a site map for the truly lost. This all helps your user experience so that they want to return and ultimately become a lifetime customer for you.
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