A well-designed UX can boost your conversion rate by 400% Effective user experience navigation plays a pivotal role in enhancing user satisfaction by helping users quickly and conveniently find what they are looking for while providing a pleasant and intuitive user interface. A well-crafted UX navigation design should be simple, consistent, and aimed at assisting users in reaching their objectives seamlessly. Your website serves as a platform to exhibit your offerings, providing users with an immersive glimpse into your brand's essence. Among all the elements on your website, the primary navigation bar holds the utmost significance. Think of it as a GPS that guides visitors through an exploration of every aspect of your website. Strong site navigation simplifies the process for visitors to locate their desired content, whether it be products or contact details. But if your website has a poor UX, visitors will struggle to see what they need and leave the site frustrated — and that’s the last thing you’d want. So, what best practices must you adopt to revamp your website’s navigation structure? In this blog, we'll delve into the diverse facets of UX navigation design and also provide tips and best practices for creating an effective navigation system.
Why Prioritizing User Experience Navigation Matters: 3 Key Insights
Despite its seemingly minor role, effective and user-friendly web navigation can significantly enhance the overall user experience. Aside from helping people find what they are looking for, website navigation directly influences your search engine ranking, ultimately boosting site traffic and conversion rates.
1. Enhanced UX Navigation Enhances Your Website's Search Engine Optimization
The convergence of UX (User Experience) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in digital marketing seamlessly integrates to deliver users the desired information, ensuring an optimal experience. If a website boasts poor UX, search engines won't prioritize it at the top of their results page. In essence, the success of an SEO campaign hinges on the presence of excellent UX on your site.
2. Effective Navigation Enhances the Mobile-Friendliness of the Website
You've probably come across the term "mobile-friendly website" often, but what exactly does it entail?
A mobile-friendly website is essentially a standard website that automatically adapts to fit the screen size of a mobile phone. Considering that nearly 58.99% of website traffic originates from mobile devices, it's crucial for every brand owner to prioritize the design of a mobile-friendly website.
One common feature found in mobile-friendly websites is the "hamburger" menu or "sandwich" icon, represented by three short, slightly spaced horizontal lines.
3. Reduced bounce rates.
Have you ever experienced shopping in a store where items were disorganized or aimlessly arranged? Chances are, you left empty-handed due to the chaos.
Similarly, the design of your website's navigation system plays a pivotal role in attracting or repelling customers. An intuitively designed navigation structure sparks visitors' curiosity, leading to increased time spent on your eCommerce store and greater awareness of your company.
Conversely, inadequate navigation leads to confusion and frustration among visitors, prompting them to exit your website, thereby elevating the bounce rate.
Types of Website Navigation
Prioritizing an easily navigable Website will prolong visitor engagement.
If you aim to extend your visitors' stay on your website, ensuring effortless navigation should be your foremost concern. This pertains not only to desktop users but also to those accessing your site via mobile screens.
As a website owner, it is imperative to identify the navigational elements, ranging from hierarchical navigation links to the footer, that will contribute to a user-friendly experience.
Let's explore some prevalent website navigation options you can consider.
1. Dropdown Navigation Bar
When your website has an abundance of information to convey without overwhelming the available space, the dropdown navigation structure emerges as the ideal choice.
This approach empowers site owners to incorporate an extensive array of text links within the primary navigation menu, all while maintaining a clutter-free landing page.
Rather than displaying all items in a side-by-side format, you can showcase the core elements in the top level of the web navigation bar, with the remaining content discreetly tucked into dropdown menus. As a result, when a user hovers their cursor over the top-level option, the menu will drop down, and they can navigate to any page they want.
2. Horizontal Navigation Bar
Of all navigation menus, the horizontal navigation bar is much preferred by site owners. Typically, it is placed in the website’s header section and features links to important pages from left to right of the primary content. Thus, they won’t skip important pages and can access them with just a click.
3. Vertical side-bar Navigation Bar
In most ways, this is similar to the horizontal ones. The two have only one difference: the former is placed on top while the latter is positioned vertically on either side of a page. The vertical navigation bar allows you to add as many links as you want compared to the horizontal one. Despite that, many websites prefer the commonly used horizontal navigation bar.
4. Hamburger Navigation Menu
The hamburger menu is used when designing a website for devices so that people can easily access all the pages. This technique shows the navigational elements horizontally on a larger screen like a laptop or desktop. But when you open the same website on a smaller device like a smartphone, the same elements collapse behind the hamburger menu.
5. Footer Navigation Menu
As the name suggests, the footer menu is positioned towards the end of a web page, be it landing or other subpages.
Usually, the footer menu consists of functional links like “Terms & Conditions” or social media accounts. Typically paired with a horizontal navigation bar, the footer menu features large menu items compared to its header counterpart.
So, if you cannot find a particular menu item on the header navigation menu, we suggest scrolling down to look for it. You must design your website so visitors don’t have trouble finding the information they want.
Best Practices And Tips To Improve User Experience of Your Website Navigation
1. Keep it simple
Don't add unnecessary elements to your website, the primary purpose of website navigation is to help visitors reach where they want without making unnecessary clicks. Instead of flooding your landing page with numerous links, including no more than seven links in the main navigation menu is best. Also, avoid using the dropdown menu because search engine bots find it challenging to crawl. Remember, the more concise your navigation will be, the greater the chances of ranking higher in the search engines.
2. Use Short And Sweet Descriptive Labels
Your visitors mustn’t get confused when they land on your website, or there’s a high possibility that they may exit without even browsing.
For this reason, keep the navigation menu clear and crisp from the get-go.
3. Arrange links by priority
In the realm of website navigation, the sequence in which you organize your links carries significant importance, perhaps more than you might realize. Experts contend that many visitors tend to focus their attention primarily on the first and last menu items. Consequently, it's a common practice for numerous websites to position a shop or service page as the initial item in the navigation menu, culminating with a compelling call-to-action button like "Contact Us" to conclude the sequence. This strategic arrangement aims to capture user engagement and prompt action effectively.
4. Use Buttons only for Call-to-action
Capture your visitors' focus on essential links by employing eye-catching CTA buttons that distinctively stand out amidst your website content. Buttons are commonly linked to significant actions, and their sparing utilization within navigation makes them particularly noticeable. Therefore, it's imperative to reserve buttons exclusively for your most pivotal CTAs, such as "Book a Call" or "Contact Us."
5. Optimize your website for mobile devices
We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to optimize your site navigation for mobile phones. This is because most people today browse websites from their phones for greater convenience. As you're already aware, mobile-friendly websites often incorporate the familiar hamburger icon, a symbol of user-friendly navigation in the mobile realm.
Website navigation is incredibly important to the success of your site, so make sure you design it carefully.
It's essential to recognize that there's no universal solution for website navigation that fits all scenarios. Nevertheless, when planning your website's navigation, you should always factor in your business objectives and the specific requirements of your target audience.
In essence, the aim is to create a website that is user-friendly for both human visitors and search engine bots, ensuring a seamless experience for all parties involved.
With this information in mind, we hope you've gained valuable insights into UX navigation and are now inspired to rejuvenate your website's design.