Web Design Navigation – Mistakes to Avoid When Designing a Web Site
Every web designer likes to claim that they have the latest in web design techniques. They can make your site with all the bells and whistles. However what good is a site that has all the bells and whistles how visitors can not figure out how to get from one section of the website to another.
No Standard Link Menus. This is a mistake that I see on a lot of web sites that are created today. The site looks incredible but there is no standardization to where the link menu is placed. On some web pages it is at the top, others it is on the left. While using the website visitors will get confused as to how they are allowed to navigate your site.
Too many links. Some website have a standardized link menu but there are just too many links within that menu. If a visitor gets overwhelmed with your linking system they may leave your web site and begin looking for alternatives. Try to keep your link menus simple and very organized.
Links that do not work. I have seen many times before, a web page that looks incredible but when you click on a link it does not go anywhere. Sometimes it directs you to the wrong place or to now at all. Before uploading a website to the internet make sure you test it, test it again, and then test one more time to make sure everything works fine. Just because those links worked during the beginning of the website building process does not mean they still work now.
Drop down menu abuse. Drop down menus are all the craze these days. While they look great and are incredibly useful they are sometimes abused. Sometimes they are too intricate. They have multiple sub menus and sub menus from the sub menus. It gets really confusing and sometimes you wonder if you are even on the same website anymore. Also if you look at it from a search engine optimization point of view, drop down menus are a bad idea.
Too many clicks. Another mistake often made is that it takes too many clicks to get to where you want your visitors to get. If you are selling a product then make it easy to get there, do not make your visitors jump through hoops to purchase your product. If it takes more than 3 clicks for a customer to purchase your product then it is too many and they may give up!
Weird link names. Sometimes you get to a site with a perfect navigation system however the links are named with names that do not make sense. Keep it simple and use the common link names that people are used too, Home, About us, Contact us. If you need to use other names then save those for page titles.
When designing a web site it is important to have a great navigation system. How easy it is too navigate your site could mean the difference between success and failure of your website. If you follow the simple rules above your site will have an incredibly easy navigation system.