When you’re designing your business website, navigation is one of the most important things to focus on.
Sure, you need to pay attention to the design and branding of the site but that’s all irrelevant if users can't navigate the site easily to find what they’re looking for. If you sell products through the site, poor navigation can really hurt your sales. The reason people prefer online shopping is that it’s convenient. Instead of walking around a shop, looking for what you need, you can go straight there, buy it in a few clicks, and have it delivered to your door in the next couple of days. So if you make your website difficult to navigate, you remove all of the benefits of online shopping.
Most of the time, they will just give up and look elsewhere, so it’s vital that you prioritize navigation when designing your site. If you think that you might have a problem on your website, these are some of the best ways to improve navigation.
Clear Out The Clutter
Overcrowded websites are tough to navigate because all of the different items on the page fighting for your attention. Consumers don’t want to read the entire page when they enter your site, they only want the information that is relevant to them and you need to make it easy for them to find it. The best place to start is by simply clearing out a lot of that clutter from your website and learning the value of a bit of blank space. A more minimalist look makes the site a lot easier to navigate and it also makes your business appear more professional because an overcrowded website is a common mistake amongst amateur designers.
Get Your Categories Right
Menus are the easiest way for a customer to find what they’re looking for on your website, so pay attention to them. A common problem that people have is that they don’t get the categories right on the menus and things aren’t where customers expect them to be. During the design process, you should consider some card sorting tests (this card sorting guide gives you more information on how to conduct them) to work out how best to organize categories. By giving people a set of products and asking them to group them, you can work out the way that most people would expect things to be categorized.
Create A Good Search Feature
Around 50 percent of people will use the search function to find what they’re looking for, so you need to make sure that it works well. It needs to account for spelling errors and the results need to be displayed in a logical order so the right result appears at the top of the list. Make sure that you place it somewhere that is easily visible on all pages as well.
If you don’t get your navigation right, it doesn’t matter how good the site looks, it isn’t going to get you any conversions. It's important to focus on aesthetics but always make sure to look at functionality first!