Thursday, July 17, 2008

Key to Better Websites - Navigation

One of the primary implications of a well-organized - good website, is to keep your visitors in the website. A website is definitely created for a purpose, unless intended for personal use, which is the minority.

For example, a portfolio website would want to be visited and it’s content viewed. For companies and internet businesses, your website certainly aims to provide product information, to make sales, or somewhat similar.

However, most individuals undoubtly prefer visually captivating designs, so on and so forth. It is undeniable that this causes no harm, but one must put himself(herself) in other people’s shoes,so as to understand how a visitor to the website might think, do and react.

Let us think for a moment about 'Navigation' - or in other words consider the implications of how easy or otherwise it is for your visitors to find his or her way around your website.

As I said, a web designer has to learn how to think the way your visitors think.

Consider the the following two examples:

Situation A : Website with good navigation (2-3 hyperlinks to target page), well planned in terms of placement, and design.

Situation B : Website with poor navigation (takes forever for the visitor to reach his or her target page),hard-to-read navigation fonts and poor placement of the navigation button bar.

In Situation A, a visitor will always want to be able to access his(her) target page. For example, the individual comes across your website, and is interested in the product sold, but wants to find more information. He(she) finds the navigation with no trouble, and enters the particular product information page.

As for Situation B, a visitor stumbles into the website, and would also like to find out more information about the product. Unfortunately, due to bad placement and fanciful font-types, the visitor takes forever,or even fails to find the navigation bar. Even when he(she) does so, links to the product information are nowhere to be found, (example : home - about - products - product image - etc…a few more clicks..- product information).

Analysis : In both situations, wouldn’t a website with characteristics similar to the Situation 'A' be more rewarding and be far more likely to keep your visitors on your site and therefore much more likely to purchase.

In situation'B' Your visitor is likely to become frustrated and quickly lose patience and leave your site without even bothering to look around to see what you have to offer far less purchase from you.

So start thinking the way your visitors think and provide them with an enjoyable experience that will keep them looking around your site.

That is what I aim to do on on my website. Why don't YOU start thinking the way Your Visitors do. There is no doubt that your increased profits will show the wisdom of this.


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