How Important Is Website Navigation?
Website navigation is how users move through a website.
There are a number of factors that impact website navigation, such as:
- The architecture of the website
- Page elements, such as the navigation bar, sidebar, and footer
- Labels for the navigation elements
- Graphics and design
Website navigation impacts usability and the user experience. Good website navigation is key to creating a good user experience.
An important rule of thumb is that users should easily be able to find what they are looking for. Navigation tools that help users quickly achieve their goals can lead to better UX, a better customer experience, and higher conversion rates.
Poor navigation does the opposite. Users that cannot get to their goal quickly — or at all — are more likely to leave a site. This negatively impacts engagement rates and can even affect SEO.
Here are a few examples of website navigation, both good and bad:
- Good menu labels are descriptive. They should include keywords that describe the content of the page. Generic labels or clever wording only obscure the content of a page, so users are less likely to click through.
- Complicated interfaces will only confuse users. The more that users have to think, the more tired they will become — and the greater the chances they will leave the site.
- Simple site architecture is best and an aesthetically appealing view makes it easier for visitors to get around.
These examples just scratch the surface of website navigation and usability.
However, they offer a good glimpse of what websites should strive for — simplicity and ease of use.
The easier that a website is to navigate, the better the user experience will be.