Website Navigation

Call it navigation. Call it menu tabs or main links or the tabs at the top or on left side of the page that allow you to get around a website. It doesn't matter what you call it, as long as it's present, visible and consistent.

What is good navigation?

  • Consistent
  • Surprise-free
  • Intuitive
  • Easy to use

Even bad navigation is better if it's consistent. This means that what is introduced on the home page is carried throughout the site.

Don't surprise the visitor by putting your navigation in an unexpected place, or by being overly creative with it. We expect to find navigation at the top or along the left side of the page. Don't make us work to find it.

Intuitive means that you don't have to think or experiment in order to use it. Keep your navigation simple.

Don't get too elaborate, especially if you are using drop-down sub-navigation. You've seen sites that have so many layers of drop down menus that it's difficult to manipulate your cursor to get to the right page? NOT Good.

In summary, put your navigation at the top or left of the page. Start on the home page and be consistent throughout. Use of drop-down sub-navigation is fine, but be careful not to go too many layers deep.

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