Your experience should tell you. Haven’t you come across a webpage that challenged your Internet-savvy mind so you decided to leave it pronto? That is what you should consider when you are having your website designed or redesigned. Your website should be easy to navigate like the English Channel or the navigators will never return.
Importance of Website Navigation
Your website has an important function. It is there to connect your business with potential customers and tell them about your product or services. Fortunately, the mouse has made life faster in the Internet lane.
When readers don’t like what they see, or they cannot make heads or tails of your information and cannot see the links, they will sail away as fast and as far as the click of the mouse can take them. If this happens most of the time, your website design is a disaster.
When people click on your website on the results page only to get an error page, they will not bother to do anything to get to your page. They will get to another site and if it loads fast, chances are they will be reading the page and buy something they like. This is one big fat reason why good website navigation is critical to your online business.
There are different browsers. Your aim is get them all working in your favor. If your website is not developed according to web standards, it will show up differently on non-Windows operating systems—Macintosh and Linux, just to name a few—thereby losing its effectiveness. It will also look different on screen readers and mobile devices and gadgets.
The Navigation Tools
What are the tools that can make a simple website effective, and where should these be located on the page?
If you look at a webpage design, you can immediately see clickable tabs on the top and bottom or on both sides of the page. By clicking these, you can easily find what you want to know about the company and its products, or you can read what others have to say about the company products and services. You do not need to get away from the page because all you need to know is there and the navigation system is easy to use even for first-time online buyers.
The following are the website navigation tools that should be on your website. The website designer will however select the tools that are appropriate for your business because what may be right for a big company may not be necessary for a small business.
• Login boxes
• Internal page links
• Order buttons
• Shopping cart
• External links
• Downloadable items
A good website designer decides where in the page the navigation tools should be located. This is by no chance a fluke because this requires careful calculation, the proper use of XHTML and CSS that conforms to W3C standards, and the purpose of the website. These elements are taken into consideration before a website design is executed.
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