Why Good Website Navigation Is Important?

A good navigation system can increase the numbers of pages viewed by each visitor. This in turn can increase signups, customers, sales, members or whatever it is your site is designed to do and make your website more successful.

Web surfers are basically an impatient bunch and if a website is hard to figure out because the links are not obvious, they will click away never to return. Website navigation is one of the most crucial elements in determining the effectiveness of a website. This article discuses the basic principle of designing website navigation.

To be effective website navigation must first and foremost make sense to the average person. While there is always room for creativity, well-designed websites tend to have similar navigation layouts.

As a web designer you must always keep in mind the basic purpose of the website and the intended audience when designing navigational elements. Most websites exist to either inform the visitor about a product or service or to actually sell the product or service. Therefore there are some basic guidelines to follow:

Navigation Element Locations-Top Menus

A top of the page menu bar is usually located directly below the page header graphic that contains the site logo. These menu items may be single links, drop down menus, or expanding menus. Each menu item can be represented by a graphic or just text. In ether case a hyperlink is associated with each item that the visitor can click on to get to the information described.

Left Side Navigation

left side navigation is typically implemented as either a column or text area on the left top portion of the webpage. Like the top menu, each item can be a single link or an expanding menu.

Right Side Navigation

right side navigation is not used that often, but when used, it is implemented as a column or text area on the top right side of the webpage. Most designers use this area for advertisements rather than site navigation.

Bottom Menus

bottom menus can be either a menu bar or footer. Menu bars use either graphics or text links while footers almost exclusively use text links.

Site Map

A site map is a good way to layout your entire site for your visitor. (Search engine spyders like them too.) It is just a hierarchical listing of every page on your site with a clickable hyperlink to that page.

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