8 tips to create a user-friendly navigation menu
The menu is fundamental for your website and necessary for an optimal user experience. It's one of the first thing the visitor will see and it determines the way visitors navigate your site. There is one thing you need to focus on when you create your menu: usability (and also aesthetics but that should be considered after usability)!
Think deep about your website's global structure:
Before you start creating your website it's important that you think about its organization. Ask yourself these questions: what is the purpose of my website? Who is my target? What are their needs? How can I meet their expectations? What do I put forward to meet their needs? If you know the answer these questions, and know them well, it's the first step to usability and success will follow. But always remember to keep it simple!
The position of the menu
With emyspot you have three options when it comes to the position of your menu:
- a horizontal menu
- a vertical menu on the left
- a vertical menu on the right.
All the combinations are possible but be aware of redundancy - don't confuse the user - to ensure ease for your site visitors and to better your SEO too. Also we recommend using the standard menu locations so people find it instinctively.
Limit the number of items
Always be concise on the navigation menu, don't exceed more than 7 categories. This brings us back to the first step: how you organize your content. Too many categories will overwhelm the reader and make him run away. Horizontal menu that take more than a line and vertical menu that need scrolling to be entirely seen are an absolute don't! To apply this rule, feel free to create submenus, subcategories ...Once again, this applies to the whole architecture of your site we are talking about!
Mind the wording
Chose clear and precise names for your categories. The user should understand the title instantly. If it's too vague or too complicated then they are very likely not to continue thier visit. And if a site visitor is specifically looking for something, unclear titles will make him abandon ship.
Classify your items
Organize your menu in order of importance. Put in the first positions the most important pages of your website, the ones that matter for your business or organisation. Also you should note that people are used to finding the “contact” page at the end of the menu!
Try to keep the same structure for every page: don't change the position of the menu from page to page. We recommand you rather create un second sub-menu that will provide more informations on some pages of the site.
And eventually, to go further, feel free to read our tutorial for creating and applying menu templates to your website!