Imagine yourself travelling alone in a new alien place with no road signs or maps. How do you think you would be able to reach your desired destination? Feeling frustrated about the very thought of it? Well! This is exactly what happens when somebody visits a website with no navigation. Undoubtedly, navigation systems are no less than road signs for the visitors browsing through your website.
Websites may be known for many things- be it their looks, content delivery or simply their overall feel; but what prevents your website from being handicapped is its navigation system. Navigation system is just like the limbs of your website. It can give viewers an instant knowledge of the gravity of your website; rather simply having a glimpse of your navigation links can give them an idea of what you are offering.
The importance of a navigation system for a website cannot be overstated for two basic reasons. Firstly, it is through the navigation links that the visitors can find and spot your website. And secondly, these are used by the search engines to spider your website. A website can loose all sense of structure and organization without a good system of navigation. In its absence, the primary purpose of your visitor i.e. to get the information that they have been searching for, will become a real challenge.
Finding the desired and relevant content without the help of navigation would be extremely difficult. Further, navigation systems need to be intuitive i.e. they should be able to outguess the action of the users in order to give them full benefit of visiting your website. Your navigation system should be designed in a way that your visitors instantly get what they have been looking for, without getting lost in a messed-up site.
Navigation forms a crucial part in the website designing.
Exciting and interesting design concepts of navigation can be added with new technologies like Flash and Ajax. One of the worst mistakes that can be made while designing a website is to design a poor and complicated navigation system. It is always good to have the simplest possible navigation systems. For this, text-based links should be preferred over the graphical ones. Also, it is important that your navigation structure remains uniform throughout your website because changes within a website can result in dis-orienting a user within your website.
In order to provide ease-of-use for a complex website, a multi-tier structure is recommended which can allow the users to directly jump to their desired pages without going through several unrelated pages.
An excellent navigation system is the foremost expectation from a good web-design. So whenever you plan to design your website make sure to pay special attention for deploying a structured and well-organized navigation system.