Ease-of-navigation is the utmost top priority for web developers when it comes to usability. Disorderly or confusing navigation is the most notoriously cause of increasing bounce rates and conversion abandonments. Your website navigation is like a road map to a small town with lots of streets and lanes. Without the proper guidance, the user cannot reach his destination and will eventfully resort to the exit.
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How can the website navigation be transformed into easy and usable functionality? what are the navigational strategies to gain more traffic? and how can you use them to put a cap on your bounce rates? In this article, we have shared 10 amazing tips that can help you get rid of these issues for good.
1. Preserve Simplicity
In some ways, this tip goes in direct conflict with competitive design strategies, but yet again, you should have no motives to make your navigation incomprehensible.
For instance, if you already have a predictable design but the menus are cluttered and disorganized, then it becomes highly improbable that users will be able to navigate and stay on your website in peace.
2. Add Predictability Factor
In areas where predictability may be preferred over uniqueness, it is best not to be creative with your website. It is particularly applicable for those website navigation menus which users interact with simply to navigate from one page to another.
Designing your own order of navigation will only lead to confusion and further annoyance – as it is statistically proven that confused users are less likely to stay put on web pages or successfully convert.
3. Never Flood Minimalism
Getting the work done as fast as possible are the primary requirements of users in online platforms these days. That is why minimalism is trending everywhere with the use of white spacing and simplified typography integrated in an open and breathable design.
It is also quite catching up due to the extensive use of mobile devices for internet browsing but more importantly, they create a better UI and induce a richer UX. However, overdoing minimalism can also prove damaging to the website. Using too much of white spacing and its counterparts can render proper navigation into a catastrophe by exhibiting too less content to engage with the site.
4. Add A Stable Hierarchy
A clear and steady hierarchal structure makes the most difference between a safe navigation and bad navigation. A clean hierarchy ensures every category and clickable subcategories are present in the menu so the user can easily understand the location of every page content without breaking a sweat.
This is critically essential for large websites that sell products and services on a wider spectrum. With a stable hierarchal structure, the user will quickly make sense of it and close into the desired page and convert.
5. Exhibit Consistency
No one can argue about the benefits of consistency in your web pages. It helps keep the theme and structure of the website in order and adds muscle memory to the users when they interact with your website. Consistency is easy to pick and almost brushes off in a matter of seconds.
This allows users better UX since they can navigate to other pages without the fear of getting lost or ending up on the wrong pages. Showing a unique navigation structure and its elements on each page will only frustrate the user and make repeat business almost impossible.
Derived from the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel, breadcrumbs are tracks of your navigation progress through accessible links. Just as Hansel left the trail of breadcrumbs to re-navigate his way back home, you can get back to where you started without having to use ‘Back’ button each time on your browser and wait for the page to reload.
Moreover, you can also jump directly to the next link or any other page in the middle of your breadcrumb path without any trouble. It is best to introduce it as a secondary base of navigation and make it manageable through design elements. It is easy and makes up for most of the lacking UX a website navigation needs.
7. Power of Sitemaps
Lost users are immediately drawn towards sitemaps. These sitemaps help your website get an appreciable view without compromising pushing them into extra links or tangled pages. However, it should also be kept in mind that sitemaps are only usable is they are concise and free from extraneous details on about each and every topic.
8. Make Your Logo Clickable
Among the top-rated practices is to allow the user reach the homepage by clicking the website logo. Since the logo is mostly exhibited on the top viewed and favorite sections of a web design (such as topside of the page), it won’t be too long when the user needs to get back to the homepage to consider your products or services once again.
Making your homepage clickable is something you cannot let go. It makes your design approachable and reflects positively on your website. It also seals the registrations and conversions that often go down the drain due to lack navigational accessibility.
9. Search Bar
The search bar is one of the most underrated features overlooked by web designers. The problem is, that search bars are considered the last resort to navigation structure, whereas in most cases it comes as the first option.
Trigger ready customers are inclined to buy products from a website and demand to access the product page without any hindrances or else it could mean losing a potential client. It is the fastest ways to break into a website and acquire the desired content.
To make sure your search bar produces the best UX, optimize it with the best features such as autofill and drop-down options. These features will help improve the searchability and assist customers in finding their content as well as providing other suggestions.
Providing more than one navigation option is not something that is frowned upon. Earlier we advised on the use of breadcrumbs only as secondary navigation which is useful when you have to establish a flexible and self-sustaining website navigation.
This practice makes your website impervious to those abandonments that occur due to lack of navigational options, especially from new web users. It also allows those users who have different preference to choose their desired type of navigation – making your website more flexible and adaptive in terms of UI. And a good UI translates to Great UX.
Before deciding on your website’s navigation capabilities, make sure to consider these 10 useful tips for enhancing your website usability.
A web interface of today’s era is highly reliant on sharp and fast navigation system for securing conversion and improving ranks. By integrating these helpful tips, your store will not only get the revenue it deserves, but also generate the ideal UX a customer yearns for.