A navigation menu is a set of directions
Consider the navigation on your website as a map or set of directions. The well-defined a set of directions are, the easier it is to move your destination. It applies to the navigation on a website also: if it’s simple and clear then visitors will know exactly where they need to go to get exactly what they are looking for.
According to some research, 50% of potential sales are lost for the reason that visitors can’t find the right information. That means almost half of the people that visit your website could potentially leave without getting what they want: buy your item or services. That’s a lot of people not buying from you and this can be avoided through the use of good navigation.
With that in mind, Navigation should follow these principles.
Key principles of good website navigation:
Navigation should be easy and simple to use. The last thing you want is for visitors to stop and figure out where they actually wanted to go – this is moreover like hard work, and they’ll likely turn over from your website.
Users should look at the navigation menu and think “ah, that’s what I wanted”. They should be able to find the information they require for themselves.
2. Structured: main and sub navigation
The structure is a must to make your website understandable and easy-to-use. It would be a very bad idea to list all of your pages separately in your navigation – the list would get far too unwieldly and overwhelming for people to find what they need.
For this reason, it’s sensible to organize topics under main headings and sub headings. A good example of the main heading would be “products” with sub headings denoting the different product on offer. To just list these products in the main navigation, unless you had only 1 or 2 services, would mess up everything.
This structure lets visitors easily move around the website and organize it in their own minds.