Like any journey, users of websites need good navigation to find their way around. When navigating websites people need to have the following questions answered.
a. Where am I?
b. Where can I go?
c. How will I get to where I want to go and how long will it take?
d. How can I go back to somewhere I have been before?
To demonstrate how a website should address the above I will be using an example of someone trying to find a company offering web design in Buckingham on a business directory website. To aid easy access to these companies the website should stick to the following rules:
a. Every page should be accessible within 3-4 clicks. Referring back to our business directory example, the visitor may click on a link for business services beginning with “W”, click on “Web Design Companies” and then click on” Web Design in Buckingham”.
b. If the user gets lost, he should be able to return to the home page by clicking the company logo at the top of the page darknet links to get back to the top.
c. Avoid “Back” or “Click Here” links. “Back” links forces the user to remember where they came from and “Click Here” forces the user to read the whole text before they know where the link goes to so both should be avoided.
d. Make the navigation consistent throughout the site. Going back to our example, if the user has found his list of companies offering web design in Buckingham and wishes to find another service and previous pages had a set of alphabetic links at the top of the page, now moving them to the side will only confuse people.
e. Avoid new, clever navigation structures. Users are expecting the navigation to be similar to most other sites so a different structure will only confuse them and turn them off from your site.
Navigating your website should be easy and intuitive and like a walk in a garden with clearly marked out paths and not like fumbling around in the dark in a maze.