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What Makes Good Website Navigation

An easy to use navigation is essential for a website. A person should never feel lost while searching through your content. Poor navigation can lead to user frustration and the possibility that people will abandon your site and go somewhere else.

Below are tips to help improve your navigation.

1. Keep then main navigation consistent throughout the site
The main navigation should always remain in the same place on a website. This eliminates confusion and makes your site look more consistent. Navigation that jumps around can confuse users and make it harder for them to find what they are looking for.

2. Use text not images

Text navigation on HIHarbourside website
The easiest way to make sure your navigation is easy to understand is to clearly spell it out. If your link goes back to the home page, make sure it says “Home”. That way, people clearly know where the link will take them.

Images aren’t necessarily bad to use. There are plenty examples of great website navigation that use images or icons, but they always use text as well. Images can be a great way to enhance a site’s navigation and get more creative, but you should always include text as well to make sure your users can easily understand where the links will take them.

3. Make sure people know where they are
It’s important to make sure that users know where they are at on your website. There are simple ways to achieve this:
  • Change the color of the navigation link when someone clicks a link. The different colored link will differentiate the page they are currently on with the other pages on the site.
  • Use headers on the page. For example, if a person clicks on the contact page, having a contact page header will clearly show they are at the correct place.

4. Use sitemaps
Sitemap used on the ACF Consulting site

If you have a large site, sitemaps are a great way to organize content for people visiting your site. Be sure to indent secondary hyperlinks under their appropriate categories to make it easier for people to follow. Sitemaps are another way to organize your content and give your website viewers another way to find content.

An easy to use navigation can make or break a site. Make sure people have an easy time searching through your site by following the above tips. Have any other tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments.


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