An effective navigation design optimizes the experience of a user. This is the reason why website navigation design demands time and effort. If you fail to get this, part right, you will be at a risk of getting no sales or conversions from a website. You have to spend some time planning how your website will engage the audience with its content. Figure this out and organize it accordingly.
California has figured out the most intuitive way of organizing a website content. This is why various website design company California, outshine others in the field of designing.
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If you want to follow the same pattern of designing as California follows, you have to get your creative juices flowing and follow the tips mentioned below:
Design your IA (Information Architecture) first
Focus on making a content strategy before designing your navigation. It is an essential task to plan the content for a large website because content forms the backbone of a website. This manipulation, understanding and overview of a content is known as Information Architecture. It plays a pivotal role in providing a subtle platform to your website. That said, when you design your navigation before designing your IA, it would be like creating a book contents without typesetting its pages.
If you have a natural ability to see the big picture, you will have no problem in working on IA. Most importantly, you will be able to generate the user-centric content, which will ultimately benefit you. Sometimes, this user-centric perspective will contradict with the clients’ way of categorizing the content. Therefore, be prepared to face such a resistance.
Things You Need To Ask From Yourself to Prepare an Outstanding Scheme
Here are a couple of things you need to ask yourself to prepare a scheme that fits with the requirements of a client:
- What pages are essential for a website?
- Does each page serve a purpose in the wider spectrum of a scheme?
- Should a content needs to be broken up into several relatable chunks?
- What more should be incorporated into a website in future?
- What user groups are you collaborating with? (e.g. subscription types, logged in/out, and advertisers)
- What is primary goal of all user groups?
Once you answer all questions mentioned above, you will understand how the content resonates with a user. In addition to this, you will also understand the key for creating a good navigation design.
Simplicity is the Key
Since you use a website, you will agree that a navigation area should be simple. Not to mention, it is not a good idea to overwhelm a user with a bunch of choices or to overcrowd navigation with a text. It hampers the overall usability of a website.
Despite this, simplicity can be misleading. You have to delve deeper and discover that complexity can still be repackaged into something that feels easy and simple. This is where Information Architecture comes into play.
You can take an example of a Microsoft’s home page to understand the level of simplicity required. Their navigation consists of just four items despite of their wide product range. The drop-down menus are also smartly split into the categories. It is so user-friendly that you can find exactly what you are looking for within an instant.
The subpages resemble the mini-sites and follow the same navigation format. The menu stays and behaves the same way despite of offering more detail once you dive deeper into the site.
It is user-friendly, seamless, consistent, easy to use and predictable. If you take into account their number of pages and product range, it is not an easy feat. It, indeed, highlights the number of hours the staff at Microsoft utilized in turning this feat into a reality. It organizes both their content and products in a way that they become highly-sustainable for both Microsoft and customers.
Analyze Orientation Properly
Provided that a computer screen is formatted in a traditional landscape format, horizontal navigation makes some sense. From a perspective of a designer, it feels composed, less intrusive, simple, easy to place and simple.
You must have seen the website of Oculus where they have talked about virtual landscapes with a horizontal menu. They would be foolish, if they did not use their orientation. It carries a nice metaphor but also lets a user dig deeper into the content and scroll down their page.
However, horizontal menus don’t add any difference in a context but make it easy for the users to scroll down the page. It carries whiffs off colored tab, which makes you find products easily in a physical catalogue. It also keeps a horizontal bar simple and neat without cluttering it with text.
If you have a wide range of products, choosing a vertical navigation is not an easy feat. However, if some websites do it with ace, they deserve applause.
For example, in a website of Jack Jones, the list of icons proximal to the text enhance readability. The simple shapes communicate a lot and keep the navigation area tidy and focused. If you click on a particular category, you will see that a menu expands to show sub-options.
If you want to observe more unusual use of the vertical menu, you can check out Squarepusher’s site. In this website, a navigation is used more like a tab and the content is kept aside. It allows a user to easily scroll and click through. It entails a linear approach and amplifies the sequential nature of a website.
We hope that these tips will help you combat all the battles of design with ace. You will be able to set up your own design company similar to a website design company California has. So, don’t waste your time, start working on these tips and become the best navigation designer.
Alice Harvey is working as a digital marketing strategist in one of the most reputed website design company California has. She has served many clients across the globe and has gained many accolades in the field of designing.