A website’s navigation should be such that it stirs the user’s intuition and tells them where they need to go, helping them find their way around. People trust their intuition more than their mind. This is why a website’s navigation and user interface should never be in a manner which requires them to stress their minds over finding their way around while looking for things.
Let’s take a look at the navigational elements and trends that can make a web design exceptionally good for retaining users:
- Make it visually appealing– Visitors favor visual content over textual ones. Thus, you should make sure to use a lot of interesting visuals on your web pages. You can use detailed and extraordinary images in place of textual descriptions which otherwise wouldn’t fit in a few words. Different contrasting colors can also be used for different content categories and to highlight active menu items.
- Responsive design– Make sure your website development company makes a responsive web design for your website because, in this age, people use a variety of devices and browsers. And if your web design isn’t a responsive one, then your website might look awkward or broke across multiple browsers and devices. In order to have a complete look of your website on their smartphones or tabs, your users wouldn’t want to have a feel as if they are putting the missing pieces to solve a jigsaw puzzle.
- Search box– This is one of the most useful features in any website for its users. A search box exists to allow users to search through all the accessible content of the website. It should be placed in an easy-to-find place on the page, generally on the upper left or upper right side of the web page.
- URLs– The URL of your website would be shared by your users with other people and at times, they would also be saved as bookmarks in their browsers. If your URLs are lengthy, it would be difficult for your users to share them since there are certain character limits that are posed while sharing content. Hence, make sure that your URLs are short and crisp in order to make them user-friendly.
- Offer limited scrolling– Visitors hate infinite scrolling. It appears ambiguous. In addition to causing choice paralysis among users, it slows down the page loading speed since new content continuously keeps loading. Make sure to offer limited scrolling so that the scroll bar remains of a usable size and users do not get irritated.
- Use organized and grouped Mega Menus– I would straightforwardly say that mega menus which lack grouping and categorization are simply bad and extremely annoying. The list of options that you must put in your mega menus should be categorized effectively and alphabetized vertically in columns.
- CTAs buttons should be clickable, clear and relevant. Moreover, they shouldn’t display an unexpected result of an action. For example, if a CTA button says “click here to have your free trial”, then clicking it should redirect the user to the trial page and not to some bogus one showing an advertisement or a product to purchase.
- The “sign-in” and “sign-out” buttons should be easily accessible – On the web page, these buttons should be placed at a place which is easy as well as quick to find. Make sure either of these buttons is not buried somewhere deep under a link, requiring a lot of clicks in order to finally reach the buttons. A user should be able to reach the button without having to go through a series of clicks.
- Use social media widgets sparingly – It has become a fashion these days to integrate a number of social media buttons on each and every website and web page. Do not forget that people like to share things out of choice, not out of compulsion. Make sure to use the social media widgets sparingly.
- Breadcrumbs are navigational elements that help improve the findability of website sections and pages. With breadcrumbs, it becomes possible for users to track their location inside a website or a web application. If your website has a large amount of content and too many web pages and sections, then you should essentially use breadcrumbs.
I ain’t saying there is a one-size-fits-all strategy for making a good website navigation. Rather, they should be used according to your business and keeping in mind the genre of your website, your organization’s goals, and most importantly your target audience plus the kind of experience you want them to have while interacting with your website.