Site Navigation

What is Navigation?

When visitors come to your site, you want them to figure out how to reach their destination quickly. Most websites have a navigation strip at the top of every page that stays the same (menus or tabs), with links to the major sections of the site. (Some sites have them on the left.) You can also choose to have more on the footer or left sidebar in sub-pages.

A site schematic or navigation looks like this:

Site Hierarchy navigation

Navigation Architecture is one of the most important factors in your site. The more organized and thought through the navigation, the easier your clients will reach the content they came for. Try not to have more than 7-8 menus, if they are at the top, no more than 15, if they are on the side. If you can’t organize your content within that amount, you haven’t done your homework. I use post it notes and write down the names of all my pages. Then start grouping pages together and finding similarities and building a hierarchy. That hierarchy leads you to a very well organized navigation. Rate each page with a number from 1 - 10 according to importance. Anything that isn't important to your client's needs (why they are in the site in the first place) should go in a lesser navigation (such as footer). Things like Privacy Policy and Terms of use are a good example of this.