Time and time again we always reiterate the fact that web design is not only the development of the aesthetics of a website but also its functionality. To gauge whether or not your website’s functionality is at its optimum you have to test it and determine if you have a good user experience. A good user experience is assured if your website is user friendly, that is, you do not have to provide a manual in order for your website to be navigated by your website visitor.
One of the biggest challenges in website design is to assure that your website navigation would be user friendly and that it would help your users to actually navigate through your websites’ web pages.
Steps in Designing Site Navigation
1. Create a Blueprint – planning your web design and your site navigation is very important because it will allow you to create a draft which you can revise prior to actual design implementation. This will prevent any lost links or any missed links that might have been forgotten to be incorporated in your website navigation.
2. Plan out a logical navigation menu – when designing your website navigation make sure that the navigation is going to be logically arranged allowing your users to find the data or information that your visitors are looking for.
3. Main Links Should be Visible – your main links are your links to your main pages, make sure that when you are designing your navigation you have to prioritise the main links as they should be prominent in order for your website visitors to easily locate such web pages.
4. Create a site map – site maps are not only for search engine optimisation purposes it is also for helping your site visitors in order to locate deeply structured or deeply located web pages. This way users will have an avenue or alternative in navigating through your website.
5. Design your links – your links should not only be a simple text link but it should also be designed in such a manner that your links when hovered upon by the mouse cursor will be highlighted. Highlighting the links will help your visitors in knowing that they are activating or clicking the right link.
User friendliness should be the web designers’ paramount concern in web design because of the fact that websites are created for information dissemination and not for showing off one’s website design capabilities. Making you website to have a clean and clear navigation will assure the user friendliness of your website.