More on Poor Website Navigation

by Joe B on August 5, 2011

I mentioned on Wednesday a website where the menu items were hidden behind objects on the home page. Another more prevalent poor website navigation technique used is one where the layout of every page is different.

You’ve seen the websites. The home page has a horizontal menu across the top. The About page has a vertical menu down the left side. The Contact page has both horizontal and vertical menus. The rest of the site has a horizontal menu but the menu items are ordered differently on every page.

I’ve also seen websites where only the Home page has a menu. Every page is linked from the Home page, but the only link on the other pages is one that says “Return to Home Page”. That’s akin to being required to return to the Table of Contents in a book after completing each before proceeding to the next chapter. What’s up with that?

As I said on Wednesday, studies have shown that one of the most important elements of a website is how easy it is for a website visitor to find what she is looking for. And a key part of this is a logical and consistent navigation system. This requires planning by the website designer. You need to have a plan as to how new pages will be added to the menu. You don’t want to have to completely restructure your menu system every few months because you didn’t plan on having new pages to go on the menu.

What is your navigation system plan for your website?

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