A website should be easy to navigate. it should be easy to hover around the links. The job of a web developer is to provide a clear and simple layout to information. It can be possible by using the need specific website navigation style. An ideal navigation style will have the advantage of making the website look appealing and easy to follow. It depends upon the developer which style he uses to create a navigation scheme. The developer can wish to customize his website in different formats, so these styles help him to create the website efficiently. Remember that imagination is the greatest element in creating a professional-looking website. Some of the practices used to create a vibrant website are discussed further.
Before creating a specific website, a developer must plan a layout for that future website. It is the first hand job of a developer. After getting the desired information about the website, various features in hierarchy of the project are planned out. A website menu or ‘sitemap’ is generally put together by using the information provided primarily.
From attractive animations to resilient menus, a dynamic navigation menu is one of the most important factors responsible for the overall “feel” and working of the website. No navigation menus style is becoming a new fad among the web community. The trends have changed this year. More options are available today than they were few years back. Navigation menus can be of various styles like the famous Hamburger menu, the animated menu, multimedia based and so on. So here are the major types of website navigation styles used worldwide for website development.
- Multimedia Navigation: Navigation menus can be constructed by incorporating various elements of multimedia. Videos and photos are used to enhance the visual appeal of the websites. A picture gives the user necessary visual hints and a video provides a short pre-cap to the user. The use of icons and pictures along with typographical hierarchy makes the scanning easier and professional looking.
- Sidebar Navigation: It is an orthodox navigation style which is not trending presently. In this type, the menu bar is aligned to the left or right hand side of a webpage. It is a basic and old type of navigation menus.
- Animated /Interactive Navigation: It is used to make the website look attractive. Largely based on beautifying the site, numerous multimedia and pictures can be added in a holistic manner. Animations can be inserted into navigation buttons. An ideal way of navigation is the animate it to catch the attention of viewers.
- Footer/Header Navigation: Navigation bars are situated on the top or the bottom of the webpage. These menus are similar to sidebar navigation but in horizontal inclination.
- Dropdown Menu Navigation: Dropdown menu is the most commonly menu style ever used. Some of the developers do not appreciate that the drop down menus becomes a hindrance to the page content visibility.
- Navigation-less: The newest trend is to develop a website having no navigation type menu bar. In no-navigation a picture may be linked with numerous other links by providing links to different parts of the picture.
- Side-out menu Navigation: It has made its mark on many web developers and is popular for mobiles. The main content headings can be displayed rather than the whole navigation. By using this, user gets a positive impression of the website.
- Mega Menu Navigation: It has a layout in which the whole website is dissected into several parts with large menus. There are many websites in a need for larger menu example: A college or school website. A typical mega menu pattern is that when we hover the mouse over an item, a submenu will appear over it. It is generally used when we need to share a large amount of varying information to the users.
- Hamburger Menu: Otherwise known as a responsive menu, is most famous amongst the corporate community. This form of navigation is composed of three lines stacked like a hamburger thus the name. The difference is that image based items are included in the inner links. It is mobile-friendly and gives an uncluttered and inviting feel to the website. The button opens up a full-screen window that proficiently balances the images and text.
Also Read: 6 free tools for website optimization
Other Strategies for Good Website Navigation
In a website, the usage of language must be taken care of seriously. The information provided by the site must be user-friendly and easy to comprehend by everyone.
Proper web conventions must be used in a website. This includes the use of images and language that is accessible to everyone in the world. Aesthetics of a website should be taken care of when applying conventions. Some commonly used web conventions are:
- Logo of the website must be linked to the URL of the website
- Correct and clear navigational buttons
- Logo should be placed at the top of your page
- Breadcrumbs should be at the top of every webpage on your website
- Search option must be present and should be easily visible
So, these are a few suggestions to bring the best in your website in terms of a user friendly and easy to follow website navigation scheme.