6 Navigation Mistakes to Avoid In Web Design

Your website’s navigation plays a major role in the end result. How you design it will affect traffic to your site and its ranking in search engines either positively or negatively. Basically, everything worth noting on your website, be it the content, URL or its user-friendliness, is directly affected by your site’s navigation.

Your site’s navigation should be intuitive and as clear as possible. There are simple yet destructive mistakes that if you avoid, your website’s navigation will be at its best.

  1. Go big or go home

Web browsing has witnessed massive developments in recent times and web users have turned into devices with different screen sizes that suit their browsing needs. The era of desktop monitors is long gone and for you to keep up with the evolving web industry, your sites features, navigation included, should be able to accommodate the wide variety of available screens.

The basic web navigation designs were sorely meant for large desktop screens making them barely usable in relatively small devices such as phones and tablets. For this reason, web developers have strived to come up with web features that can adjust to the new changes. Make sure your website’s navigation is redesigned to adjust to different screen sizes making it clear and easy to use no matter the device.

Screenshot of a video where Marc audits a website, overlaid with a play button

Free 5 Minute Video Website & SEO Audit

Delivered right to your inbox
  1. Using generic labels

Generic labels such as ‘Products’ or ‘Services’ can be found in basically any ordinary website and communicates little to your web visitors. Your web’s navigation should be descriptive so as to save your visitors the click that does not really help. This way, you will reduce your bounce rate and increase chances of visitors actually getting something out of your site.

Your site’s navigation also plays a major role in search engines ranking. Chances are, no web user can actually type the words ‘products’ or ‘services’ into the search engines and click search. So why include them in your site? Since your target audience is not searching for these words, you should instead go for labels with keyphrases that can actually be searched for according to Google Keyword tool.

  1. Unnecessary items in your navigation

Chances are you’ve come across websites that contain too much links on their home page that can even get confusing sometimes. This should not be the case in your site. You should instead strive to bring the items on your site to a minimal so as to make navigation easier and precise. A home page with too much links will negatively affect even the deeper pages on your web and won’t go down well with search engines either.

  1. Be creative with the navigation patterns

In web design, there are standard navigation patterns that you will find in every site. A good example is the back button being placed on the top left side of the website rather than the top right. This is because people have associated that direction with going back.

However, there are patterns that don’t necessarily have to be in a particular place and you can be creative with them to kill monotony. Just make sure they make sense.

  1. Use Drop Down Menus wisely

Drop down menus can sometimes be annoying and discouraging to visitors. Our eyes move faster than the mouse and when you decide to click and other options pop up instead, it might get confusing sometimes and you may end up even skipping what you initially wanted to check out.

  1. Use the right tone

Each website requires a particular tone depending on what they are offering to the audience. It can be straightforward and professional or friendly and loose. Whatever the tone you decide to use, make sure it blends with the navigation.