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Guidelines For An Effective Navigation Design

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Navigation is an element on your website that allows users to easily find what they are looking for on a website. Without proper navigation, a website is ineffective. The goal of a navigation design should be to be simple, understandable and to find particular information as quickly as possible. You must design a navigation plan in an organized way so that the audience can easily relate with it. There is no certain method to follow while designing a navigation plan but, there are ways to help you organize it in a better way.

Finalize your content

The most important thing you must complete before planning on navigation is the website’s content. Decide on how you want to place your content on the page. How many pages do you want on your website and how will you divide the content on different pages? Will you need to add any content in the future? What group of users are you going to target? These are the questions that need to be answered before designing navigation.

Words to be used

Now that you have all the information in hand, you need to give a title to each content page that tells the users what the page is about. Instead of trying to phrase the navigation titles creatively just to think you will stand out from the rest, try to use words that the users are familiar with. The navigation terms should be simple and self explaining so that the users immediately know what to expect under those titles.

Colour scheme

It will be interesting for you to know that a colour scheme can also make it easier for your users to navigate through your site. You can provide different colours for different categories so that the users can identify different areas of your website. You may also keep the entire navigation in one colour and highlight only active menus. With this scheme, as the users hover over different content categories, the menu item changes its color to show which category has been hovered upon. The colour scheme should be very simple and appealing.

Icons

If you plan to put icons on your navigation menu, you must make sure they are readable, clear and meaningful. The shapes should be simple and interactive. They must be able to tell the users what they should expect to find under the category and the icon should be such that it is easier for the users to remember them so that it becomes easier for them for the next visits to the website.

Positioning

People follow certain patterns when they first visit a website. They follow some particular scanning patterns to get an idea what the website is about. The most important things they scan are the top horizontal area and the left column of the webpage. Try to place the most important elements horizontally at the top or vertically along the left edge of the page. Also, avoid placing your navigation below the fold since users generally do not scroll down a page most of the times until they feel that this is the page they want to stay with. Another important feature you can add to your navigation is that it stays visible even when you scroll down the page. Keep navigation following the users where they go, to make it easier for them. But, remember not to make it too distracting or annoying for the users.

Keep it simple

Keep your navigation to the simplest. Categorize your products or services to the minimum number of categories. Under the main categories, you can add sub-headings to tell more about your products and services. Smartly divide the drop-downs into different sections and present it in an organized manner to help users find what they are looking for quickly and easily.

To conclude, your navigation should be simple, understandable, predictable and well-organized to have an effective result on the visitors. Jain Technosoft, with its skilled team of web designers and web developers, will help you to create the perfect website with appropriate user friendly navigation to create positive impressions on your visitors.

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