The top navigation goes by many names: top nav, menu, navigation menu—the list goes on and on. Still, the navigation menu, how we will be naming it in this blog, is an obvious element to any website that is commonly overlooked.
Website Development Tip | Why Your Site’s Navigation Matters
As a user, one of the first places they will look when they land on any site is the navigation menu. It’s that split second decision to go straight to a page or look around the home page.
Here are few website development tips on how to create a great navigation menu for your site!
The Limit Does Exist & it Applies to Menu Items
Every site serves a purpose. Whether it is showcasing your services, products or company mission your main navigation is a quick snapshot of what they can find throughout your site.
Having too many options will either confuse, overwhelm, or delay your users. They can get confused easily by terms they don’t understand or immediately identify with. Your visitors may get overwhelmed by all the information they are given, delaying them from navigating through your site.
Developing the best site not only involves creating a site with your brand in mind, but also anticipating how your users are going to experience and interact with the site.
The Window Shopper & the Browser
The menu a user sees on a desktop should not be the same as that of a mobile user.
Having a site that is easy to navigate around is key to turning visitors into customers. Having seamless desktop and mobile navigation allows visitors to experience your brand from wherever they are.
When imagining your mobile user, remember that you’re battling against the many distractions they may be experiencing while visiting your site. Busy streets, walking around a mall, or grabbing that third cup of coffee—your mobile user is on the go.
In comparison, a desktop user may be sitting at a desk or in a coffee shop with their full attention on the screen.
The mobile user is a window shopper, quick and to the point, the desktop user is the browser, they’ll look inside and take their time.
Think Outside the Top Right of Your Screen
Users want to see something new when they land on a site! Seeing the traditional top right horizontal menu is great, but it’s also the same menu they have been seeing one every other site they’ve visited.
Although, making a menu that is too far from the traditional style is not the best idea. If your website’s navigation menu is not in the realm of what a user is used to interacting with, they may leave your site due to confusion.
Balancing any site between innovative and functional is a delicate game that developers and designers play.
Why Your Navigation Menu Should Be A Priority In Your Website Development Strategy
Developing an innovative site is exciting and fun, but functionality should always be the focus of every website. Although an innovative navigation menu is a great dynamic element within any site, it should remain simple and seamless to convert visitors. The key is to give the user the information they need about your brand—let development and design do the rest.