A Guide for Creating Easy to Navigate Websites

By Meredith Fennema

February 8, 2019

When it comes to finding things on websites, NOT all websites are made equal. Some websites are simple, logical, and easy to use. You quickly understand how to find store hours, a phone number to call, or who key staff members are.

Great site navigation helps users easily find what they are looking for rather than having to click multiple links or search endlessly.

Other websites, on the other hand, have a messy hodgepodge of pages and links. The menu might change from one page to the next, or there may be key pieces of information that are seemingly hidden, buried deep under content that’s less important.

Bad site navigation leaves users feeling frustrated and confused.

If you’re worried that your website design isn’t quite as easy to navigate as you’d like, rest assured that you are definitely not alone — bad navigation is an especially common problem area!

It is, however, an important problem area to address. If a customer is looking for a product on your website but can’t find it, it’s likely that they’ll look elsewhere.

Tools to Test Site Speed

You likely have a pretty good idea whether or not your website helps users quickly and easily find the information they’re looking for. But, if you’re not sure or are looking for confirmation there’s a quick and inexpensive option you can use.

Option 1: User Testing

Start by writing down the most important 3-4 pieces of information for your website visitors to be able to find. This may include things like your contact information, store hours, or product categories.

Next gather 3-5 people who are in your target audience. Without giving them any clues, ask them to find the pieces of information you identified as being important and easy to find.

Watch how your target audience navigates your website to find this information.

Do they struggle, or is it quick for them to find the information requested? If they pause trying to figure out where to look for something it’s probably time to re-evaluate your website’s navigation design.

Option 2: Check Bounce Rates

Another option is if you have Google Analytics set up on your current site, to log into your Analytics account and check your bounce rates as well as average session duration.

If you notice that people are coming to your site and quickly leaving, that may be a sign it’s time to evaluate your overall site navigation.

Site Navigation Worksheet

We’ve created a worksheet to help you test the effectiveness of your website navigation. Click here to download our site navigation worksheet.

Ready to Connect?

Call: (616) 822-3706
Email: hello@simplersite.co

About Meredith Fennema

Meredith manages web design and digital strategy services for Simpler Site. Clients across the country appreciate Meredith’s commitment to growth, generosity and kindness, alongside Simpler’s practical, make-it-happen approach. Meredith studied Human Centered Design at Kendall College of Art and Design, earned her Foundations in Design Thinking and Designing Strategy certificates from IDEO U, and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Communications and Political Science from Calvin University. In business and in life, Meredith believes in the power of embracing the unknown. Outside work she practices this while mountain biking, backpacking, cooking, and vegetable gardening.

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