What You Need To Know About Web Design and Navigation Menus!
There are many different opinions on what constitutes the best web design and great website navigation – ideas that are highly subjective to specific websites and their individual use. As the internet and the devices on which it is accessed continue to change, there may be a significant effect on website navigation, and how it should be organized – something the best web design company must understand to create a functional, effective design. For the best web design, a designer and their client must embrace techniques that aid user function, including well organized navigation that makes getting around a site easier, and more convenient.
Organized, Functional Website Navigation is Critical
The best navigational menu requires good organization – something that is not as easy as it might seem. Every site will be organized differently, based on a number of important factors, such as the number of categories and subcategories required to serve the site; the way that topics or products are organized in those categories; and how menus are activated. Good organization that makes sense for the specific site is essential so users can easily find their way around. Offering good organization, and an interface that is user-friendly regardless of the device or access, is the golden combination and the best web design.
Categorize, Prioritize or Alphabetize
When setting up the best navigational menu for a website, a good web designer and their client must first decide what is more important for the web design – categories by topic or by alphabet? This may be a difficult question to answer, especially since it varies depending on the user. Knowing the main categories users will find useful is a good way to start. Subcategories can then be set up alphabetically or with other important details.
Topical categories or those arranged by assumed priority, based on what the website owner wants the user to see first, are fine when there are only a few categories. The best web design company knows that many categories or subcategories are frequently more useful when alphabetized, since long lists of unordered choices look and feel disorganized and confusing. Regardless of navigation organization, a user should be able to pick a link and know what they will find, based on the organizational structure. Using a combination of techniques is also effective, as long as the end result is predictable, and exhibits some kind of order.
Broad Functionality is Key
Hover effects are attractive, and help users get around a website with fewer clicks. Fly-out menus are desirable in many cases for this reason, although it must be understood that hover functions are less user-friendly for mobile users who have touchscreens. This should not mean that web designers need to stop using them; however, their appropriateness must be considered in terms of how audiences will most likely access a site as well as the number of categories, subcategories and navigation layers. Once again, combining methods could be the answer for the best web design, as long as users are considered with touch screens and those without.
Navigation is one of those key elements in building the best web design that no designer or client can under-think. For the greatest effectiveness and efficiency, the best web design company must understand the different organizational and functional techniques, and how to determine which are best for each, individual site!
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