Importance of Navigation in Web Design

Any good web designer knows that there are specific aspects of web design that cannot be overlooked, if a website is to be effective.  One of the most important elements of website design is navigation.  Navigation is just what it sounds like – how someone gets around on your website – and if your site is lacking in effective navigation, it is not going to work for your business the way you need it to.  Here are some reasons for why navigation is so important in your website design:

People can enter your site from a number of different pages.  Some people make the mistake of designing their website entirely around the home page.  However, it is important to remember that a multitude of your site’s pages may be ranked simultaneously by search engines, which means that people will be able to access your site from pages other than your home page.  Without good navigation that covers the entire site, visitors could get stuck on a page and not be able to move on to explore more of your site.

You don’t want to put your site visitors to work.  Simply put, they don’t want to have to put in a bunch of work just to be able to explore your site.  A bad navigation network can mean multiple clicks (and guesses) to get to the desired information.  If you force your visitors to put in too much effort when it comes to moving through your site and finding what they want, then you will lose their interest – and you will lose them.

Your site should be well-organized.  Again, this comes down to helping your site visitors find what they need, with as little effort as possible.  You can’t expect people to automatically understand how your site is organized and where they should click to get where they want to go.  Navigation is your way of organizing your site.  For example, by making good use of primary navigation, secondary navigation, menus, and internal linking, you can create a user experience that is likely to keep people interested, and loyal, to your site.

If they can’t find it, they can’t read it.  You put a lot of money and time into creating, aggregating, and commissioning content for your site.  Simply put, if your website is not effectively designed with navigation in mind, your visitors won’t be able to find your content.  If they can’t find it, they can’t read it . . . so what good is that content?