Importance of good navigation

Importance of good navigation

by Wasim Ismail on February 14, 2012

It’s the same scenario when your visitors come onto your website, and do not know what to do next. There is no clear navigation, nor any call of actions. Imagine how they feel, and as a business owner, you probably have lost that customer.

Creating an effective good navigation on your website is probably one of the toughest task for the website designer and also for a business owner. As for many of the inner pages of your website. this will be the only path to take the visitors to the destination you want them to, or to see a your products and services in detail, and if it’s not very clear to them, the chances are it’s not going to happen. This one of the main reasons where websites tend to have high number of bounce rates.

Having a clear good navigation is one of the main fundamentals of having a good successful website. The mistakes many business owners make here is leaving it all to the web designers. Yes which is great, but at the end of the day, it’s your business. If something is not going to work for your business , than it needs to be changed. There are many great web designers out there that build very good website, but it stops there. You as a business owner need to test what has been built. Website owners will assume that the navigation that is in their design will work and do its job, without Testing it.

I’m going to highlight some ways that you can ensure that you have a solid navigation for your business, and how you should work with your designers and developers to come up with a winning navigation. That will guide your visitors to the page you want them to see.

Understanding:

Before we get into building and how your navigation should look. The first to do is to understand your audience. You probably cover this in your design briefs with your designer, or even in your business plan. But having a clear understanding of your audience will allow you to setup your navigation accordingly.

what to look out for?

Who: Who are your audience, is it a certain age group? certain nationalities? certain individuals? you can break it down so that you know exactly whom you are dealing with. As every individual reacts differently to certain things, so by you having groups, and putting your audiences into certain groups, you can build a navigation that will work for them, and something that they will react to.

Why: Why are these visitors on your website, or why should they be on your website. What have you go to offer them that others do not. So a bit of market research and see what your competition is doing.

What: What are they looking for and how are you going to provide them the solution, that they need.

Now you should have your audience highlighted, and have some good information that you can work from. It may also mean that you need to show a certain type of user a certain page of your website and others a different page.

What other points to look out for?

While looking into your visitors and how they engage on websites, look out for:

– What colours do they like, and how they react to different colours: As getting an understand on this, you will be able to design your navigation accordingly. See what colours makes them want to click on something, and what makes them think “oh no, I don’t want to click on that”.

–  What type of Fonts do your visitors like,  both style and size. by getting this right when your visitors come to your website, your navigation would be standing out to them, and it would be quite obvious to them.

– How they react to navigations on the right, left or top. Do they tend to click on links which are on the right more, or do they prefer links that are on the left.

By gathering all of the above information, you can pass this over to your designers whom you can work with to get your navigation to how it should be, and not just look good to you, and others, but a navigation that will work for your visitors.

Other Forms of Navigation.

Navigation doesn’t just generally mean the links at the top of your site, or down the side. Navigation in simple terms is guiding your visitors to a destination. Now this can be by using links within the body of the page such as “Read more” or a Hyper link on a text such as: “What determines a buying decision online”. Again you can apply what you know about your customers into setting these so that they are clicked on by your users.

Banners: Having good banners are also a form of navigation. In your banners you can explain graphically and visually what you want your customers to do or find out. Using word like:

Click Here to Find out more

Click to Subscribe

Join Our Mailing List

By having a professionally designed graphical banner with a clear call of action can be quite a powerful form of navigation.

Testing

As mentioned, many business owners slip on this point, after putting all the hard work into building the website. You would only know if it works once you have some real users using it, and seeing what is working and what needs changing.

One of the easiest way to test your websites navigation, is to show your site to someone for the first time, and you just watch them navigate though your site. See what is working for them, and what part  do they get stuck on or lost. By seeing a real life user using your website, you will get a better understanding on what pages and areas of your website do you need improvement on.

Once your website is launched, always keep a close eye on how your visitors are navigating on your site, do you notice any trends? are using reacting differently in different seasons? Whatever the case may be, you always need to be testing and looking into improving your site.

If you have a navigation that works, and your customers can use easily, you can engage with them, and interact with them to offer them your services and products.

What are your thoughts? Did you test your navigation? is it working? or are you constantly changing? I would love to know in the comments below.

Thank You For Reading

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