Four different types of website navigation
Website design is all about the functionality of the website and the design that will provide the best experience for the consumer. It is the overview that the consumer will get once they land on the website. If they land on the blog but want to go back to the homepage, how easy is it for them to do so?
In an ideal world, every visitor would start on the homepage of the website, and navigate to the final lead page. While this is the “ideal” world, consumers navigate through websites in all different types of ways and browsers.
94 percent of consumers say easy navigation is the most important website feature.
Remember the rule of thumb is to never have navigation go further than three clicks. Any more than that, consumers and Google both start to like it less and less.
What is website navigation?
As HubSpot states, “website navigation is a collection of user interface components that helps visitors find content and features on a site. These components take the form of copy, link text and buttons, and menus.”
The menu is the most important part because this is what navigation is known as. The ability to easily navigate from one page to the other is a critical element in all website designs.
However, it also helps to understand the relationship between each different page. A website that is properly structured will be able to easily show the correlation between each page and its relationship with one another.
You start with a homepage. This homepage will break down based on services or products, and from there, each different subset of these services and products will further break down, and it continues on.
This is an example of a site map that can provide designers and developers with a deeper understanding of how the website will work to develop the navigation.
Types of website navigation
The biggest thing with website navigation is to remember to not reinvent the wheel. While there are moments that unique navigation does work, it is best to stick with the basics for website navigation.
Top menu navigation
What is the most common type of navigation that comes to mind? The top-down navigation. This is the simplest type of navigation that shows consumers the main pages of the website immediately.
This provides easy-to-read navigation that all consumers can enjoy.
Hamburger navigation is commonly used for mobile navigation. This is because the vertical navigation provides a better user experience for mobile users, but on desktop, it is listed horizontally on the site. You can identify hamburger navigation by its iconic burger-like shape typically located in the corner of a website.
With the sidebar navigation, the items are stacked on top of each other. While this is commonly heard of navigation, it isn’t as popular as horizontal navigation. It provides the ability to add more sections to the navigation bar than traditional horizontal navigation.
Mega drop-down navigation is a larger menu panel that populates once a consumer hovers over the navbar. This is great for larger websites because it provides the ability to show all the different options at once.
Another benefit for larger websites with mega drop-downs is that it cuts down the number of clicks it takes to go to each page.
These are the four different types of website navigation that most websites use! If your navigation is off, it can affect the entire website. To get your website in order, contact us today!
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Posted In: Website Design