Webmaster Papers

Web webhostingpapers.com


Keep Your Navigation Simple!

Navigation must be simple. Since it's the backbone of your site, it's imperative that visitors be able to understand it. Here are two tips on how to make simplicity a reality in your site:

1. Your link titles need to be understandable.

Visitors need to know exactly what link to click on for the info they need. Unfortunately, visitors frequently get confused and don't understand what a link means. Consequently, they aren't sure what info they'll find at the other end of the link.

Often, a link name that makes complete sense to you will mean nothing to the visitor. For example, I once used a link called "Resources" in the navigation bar of a site for a client. This section of the site contained various articles and links to outside sites with helpful information.

However, after a little bit of testing, I discovered that most people had no idea what I meant by "Resources". They didn't know what kind of information was in that area. Also, when visitors tried to look for articles, they didn't think to check the Resources section.

In other words, the link wasn't doing anyone any good.

The difference between your understanding of a term and a visitor's understanding of the same term can be rather drastic. This happens because you are so close to your own business and your own site.

It's important to remember that visitors don't know nearly as much about your business as you do. They often have no background knowledge, and they might not know standard terms in your industry. Sometimes, you'll have to work to come up with terms and phrases for your links that are meaningful to the visitor.

Here's one general principle: Don't use clever terms.

Although clever attention-getters often work well in the offline world, it's different online. In character with their generally hurried attitude, web users want to know exactly where they are going and what they will find when they click on a link. They don't like guessing games and are usually not enticed by clever lead-ins. What lies beyond them is simply not clear.

Cleverness doesn't belong in navigation unless you're positive the meaning will be understood by everyone. You should avoid anything that isn't straightforward and clear. Steer away from any terms that obscure what your links are really about.

Also, you should be very careful about using industry-specific terms. You might be suprised to find out how much of your lingo doesn't make sense to people who aren't familiar with your industry. Carefully evaluate each of your links to make sure you're not using a confusing term.

2. Navigation options need to be kept to a minimum

The second way you can simplify your navigation is to make the amount of options manageable. Visitors tend to get overwhelmed if you give them too many choices. They aren't able to focus. Rather than seeing each individual option, they only see a mass of links.

An additional reason not to include too many links is that you ordinarily shouldn't send visitors in a lot of different directions. If you've established a primary goal for your site (you have, haven't you?), your site should revolve around accomplishing that goal. So it's in your best interest to keep the options down. That way, you're able to steer your visitors in the direction you want them to go.

Keep your navigation menus to 5-7 options or less. That's the max amount you can have without losing your visitors' concentration. Any more than that, and they aren't able to discern an individual choice.

If you find yourself having more than 5-7 options in each of your navigation menus, try to pare them down. It's better to simplify the list and make sure visitors can evaluate everything than to cram everything in when visitors will miss most of it.

If you really need more than 7 links, group the links into a few categories. Although this can still get overwhelming, it helps significantly if you categorize links for visitors. They can latch onto one category and narrow it down from there, rather than having to deal with the whole list at once.

Overall, try to objectively evaluate your navigation from the point of view of a visitor. If you can, get input from people who aren't familiar with your site or your business. They'll be a great resource in helping you determine whether or not your links are confusing or overwhelming.

About The Author

There are 605.6 million people online. Can they find your business? Jamie Kiley creates powerful and engaging websites that make sure YOUR company gets noticed. Visit http://www.kianta.com for a free quote. Get a quick, free web design tip every two weeks--sign up for Jamie's newsletter: http://www.kianta.com/newsletter.php



Choosing A Color Scheme
When you begin the design of your Web site, one of the first things you need to do is decide on a color scheme. Although choosing colors seems like a relatively easy proposition, it's not easy at all. In fact, it's hard.
Simple Lines and Shapes for Your Logo Design
Geometric designs come in all shapes and sizes? and lines. You can create your logo design or customize your illustration by using simple lines and shapes to create your very own unique image.
Lead Capture Pages Explode Your Direct Sales Business Online!
Are you building a direct sales or mlm business online? Using lead capture pages can significantly improve your recruiting results and save you lots of time and money! I have known a few people who earned 5-figure monthly incomes in their mlm businesses and they used lead capture pages for Internet marketing.
The Proper Way to Use Images
Most people will agree there is nothing more annoying than going to a site and it taking forever and a day to download all the images just so you can see the site. Then after waiting, realizing that the site is completely ugly, irrelevant,or not what you thought is was, and wasting your time.
Website Promotion and Design Tips
Are you thinking that it is about time your small business had an internet presence, however are not too sure how or who to go to build and promote the website.
Small Business Website Design - How to Get Professional Results on a Shoestring Budget
Just because you are a small business with an even smaller website design budget, does not mean that you cannot have a professional looking website and presence on the web. All it means is you will have to do some of the work yourself instead of paying some design firm to do it for you. Amazingly enough, self designed pages from small business owners who did their research frequently end up being better and more focused than professionally designed pages. Consider the following suggestions when designing your own website.
How to Create A Homepage That Works
Want to know what the worst thing to say on a homepage is?
Let Your Website Make You $$$ While You Sleep! and All That Other B.S.!
Well, you've got your product, started your home business, and even have your website up on the internet. Only one problem, where is that money you were supposed to be making? Nothing! No one is knocking down your door to buy your product! Well, here is the real world answer. Just because you have a website up doesn't mean much if people can't find you among the masses of sites out there. And you thought you were done:) Now, the real work starts..... Need marketing strategies......
How To Get A Pay Raise From Your Web Site
How many of the visitors to your web site take the action you want them to take? Whether you want them to buy something from you, sign up for your newsletter, enter your sweepstakes, or give you contact information to follow up on, you want them to do something. The percentage of visitors who actually do that something is called your "conversion rate."
Do-It-Yourself or Hire a Professional Designer
Remember your vision for your company and the brand or statement you want to make when any of your current or potential customers come in contact with you. You have to impress them in all the ways you connect with them.
Keep Your Navigation Simple!
Navigation must be simple. Since it's the backbone of your site, it's imperative that visitors be able to understand it. Here are two tips on how to make simplicity a reality in your site:
My Top Ten List Of Extremely Annoying Web Page Design Elements!
Easy navigation and usability are one of the most important aspects of creating a "user friendly" website. However, there are still a "plethora" of web-sites out there that are, to be politically correct, "functionally challenged." Does your website keep people captivated, or does it send them fleeing as soon as they get to the first page? Do you offend your visitors by employing these ten web design faux pau's?
Awards Program Debate
Daily article:
Wording Up Your Website
Back to basics. Forget funky design, good copywriting is the key to a clear and intuitive website.
Use Feng Shui Techniques To Design a Harmonic Website For Your Business
By following feng shui guidelines and techniques, you can build and design a business website that is not only visually attractive but also attractive to wealth and prosperity. The elements that are part of a business website are somehow equivalent to the objects distributed through a working space since the website is the electronic version of the actual business' offices. Therefore, the website design and the elements that will be in it should follow feng shui guidelines in order to be properly balanced.
The Best Simple Software For The Busy Webmaster
Here are a few programs I can't do without. They're free, and make being a webmaster much easier.
What I Look For In a Website
As my occupation is that of a proofreader, one of the first things I look for in a website is quality copy; to me it's important that the textual content is clear and concise with correct spelling and proper punctuation. Many websites I have looked at have sadly failed to follow this basic rule and the build emphasis has been centred on flashy eye-catching graphics, quite often at the expense of the copy.
Using Graphic Design on Your Website
Almost everything is available on the web? products, services, e-books, software, audios, videos, membership sites, or newsletters. Regardless of what you're promoting, there's a never-ending supply of prospects and customers on the world-wide-web. Your goal is to capture and turn those prospects into paying customers.
Pages to Include in Your Website
What pages need to be included on your website? The answer varies for each type of business and depends on how informative you want your website to be for potential clients. Below is a list of sample pages for you to review while you plan out your website.
How to Make a Website (Minus the Headaches)
There is nothing wrong with making your own website if you are looking to save some money. Be prepared however, for your finished product to resemble an after school project; cutesy, homemade touches and all. It is pretty hard to make your own website and have it look professional; but, there is an easier way that will leave you with fewer headaches in the long run.