August 14, 2017

5 (Easy) Ways to Help Users Navigate Your Website

Written byJacqueline Routh

Image of a mysterious forest, much like getting lost on a website without clear navigation.

Imagine you’re in the middle of a forest. All of the trees are too dense to see the sun, and you don’t have a map, frame of reference, or any clue how to get out. How do you feel?

This is what it’s like for a user to try to find their way around a website without clear navigation. Needless to say, the experience for this user is a bit stressful. That’s why it is crucial to make it easy for users to find what they are looking for. By integrating the practices below you can create a more positive experience for your customer.

1. Consistency is key

A cohesive, clear cut message is crucial to ensuring that your user doesn't leave your site. All of your sites pages should have a consistent color theme and overall feel to it. A confusing barrage of colors, fonts, and concepts will overwhelm a user and lead them to closing the page before a conversion is made.

“Consistency means making everything match. Heading sizes, font choices, coloring, button styles, spacing, design elements, illustration styles, photo choices, etc. Everything should be themed to make your design coherent between pages and on the same page.”- Hubspot

2. Group Info By Target Audience

Does your website have multiple audiences? Perhaps you sell hardware to both wholesale buyers and direct to consumers. Try using separate menus that clearly delineate what type of information you are providing. An easily navigable site that doesn't make your user work hard to find what they need is of the utmost importance. 

3. Arrange the Dropdown Menu Strategically

It is important to think about the way you structure your information when optimizing your website’s navigation. When designing your dropdown menus, place information in a logical sequence. For example, consider placing categories alphabetically or by most important first. Be sure to check out this article for more information architecture tips.

4. Keep Language Simple

When titling pages, keep the language simple. It may be tempting to spice up your content by infusing it with branding tone and slang, but it is best to keep language clear and easily understandable. Otherwise, this can add to confusion for your users and will make your pages harder to search.

5. Utilize Your Footer

Help users find what they are looking for by giving them shortcuts to frequently accessed pages. Utilizing the footer space on your website can be a great hack without adding additional information to your dropdown menus. Adding social media links to your footer, providing contact information and allowing users to subscribe to your  newsletter are all great ways to use your footer to the fullest.