Why Your Website’s Design Is Stopping You From Getting Clients
Today there are lots of articles about how to divide a web site to sections and create build navigation between them in order to make visitors feel comfortable on this site, like they’ve been using it for ages.
But unfortunately nowadays many startup web masters create something twisted like a labyrinth that makes it almost impossible to use for newcomers. And it is not a surprise because the process of navigation structure building is not an easy task, especially if the site contains large amount of information.
It is not a secret that navigation is one of the most important elements of every site. It is very important not to make navigation throughout the site a riddle guessing, the visitor definitely won’t be satisfied with this and even may leave the site immediately. Now let’s consider the main rules of successful navigation:
1. Don’t complicate
The simpler – the better. You shouldn’t try to make something super new. Of course designer’s creativeness is always in vogue, but my personal opinion that navigation panel is not the place to implement designer’s extraordinary ideas. Do it with whatever you want – layout, color, font.. but with navigation you should be very careful. I often see the sites where menu items are called very differently, not like it is generally accepted. And sometimes the creative names are not easy to understand for broad masses and it brakes the general image of the site and distracts visitors, especially if they came there for the first time.
It is also unacceptable when on the first page the menu item has one name and on the second – another.
2. Don’t hide
Second tendency of web design newcomers – placing navigation somewhere where it is difficult to find from the first sight on the web page. But why? Give user the opportunity to understand at once how to navigate this site. Just place the panel where it will be easily seen. It would be great if you also duplicate the links at the footer, especially if the pages are long.
3. Rule 7 +/- 3
Numerous researches proved that average person normally perceives no more than 7 one-level sections. Of course I understand that we are all keen and intelligent, and our visitors are the best, but if a section contains numerous items, this will distract them and they might easily get lost in tons of articles. So if there is much content on the site, try to separate it into logical sections.
If you do that you will also be sure that the page will load fast and the visitor won’t wait long time and won’t leave it.
4. Don’t go deep
Psychologists think that the most comfortable menu has 2 levels. Maximum number of levels is 3. Even the 4th level annoys visitors, they are tired of clicking the links but not getting where they want. So, try to keep the following structure: Home page → Section → Subsection → Article.
5. Three clicks
- Add a search box to your web site – this will significantly simplify the process of navigation throughout your web site.
- Add breadcrumbs that reflect the position of user at the current moment. This will help people to understand how deep they went into the site, and they will be able to link easily to any level of the breadcrumbs.
- It is very convenient if your contact information (telephone, address) can be easily found, you may place them at the front page. Also embed a contact form, you may even create a customised web form for free with online generator like PHPForms
- Give your visitors an opportunity to connect with you easily via contact form and then try to answer as soon as possible.
- Java Script gives great advantages for web site interface. For example, drop down menus are really useful if their items are not too long and their structure is well organised.
These are some advises that will help you to make the navigation on your site simpler and easier, but of course every web master has his own methods and techniques that he received with experience. So don’t be afraid of experimenting and trying something new, only in such a way you will become a real professional.