6 Key Elements for good website navigation

Published on
March 22, 2023
a confused dog in glasses staring at an ipad
Adam Emmerich
Webflow Developer

Good website navigation is one of the most important aspects of a successful website. Without it, users can get lost or frustrated, resulting in a poor user experience and ultimately, a higher bounce rate. So, what are the key elements that make for good navigation on a website? In this blog post, we will explore the answer to that question.

Here are 6 factors you should consider to ensure your website has good navigation.

1. Clarity

The first and most important element of good navigation is clarity. Users should be able to easily understand where they are on the website, where they can go, and what the purpose of each link is. Navigation should be clearly labeled, visible, and easy to find. Having navigation at the top of the page and at the bottom of the page is a must in order to provide the user with clear options.

2. Simplicity

The navigation should be simple and straightforward. Too many options can be overwhelming for users, so it’s best to keep it simple and prioritize the most important pages. A good rule of thumb is to limit the main navigation to 3-6 items. You can put more navigation items in your footer since it is less distracting to users than a dense navigation bar at the top of your website.

3. Consistency

Consistency is key in good navigation. Users should be able to easily find the same navigation elements on every page of the website. This includes using the same labels, layout, and visual design. Consistency makes it easier for users to navigate the website and reduces confusion. You should aim to have every page on your website accessible within two clicks, three at the max only if your website is very large.

4. Accessibility

Accessibility is an important consideration in website design, and navigation is no exception. Navigation should be designed with accessibility in mind, including considerations such as color contrast and keyboard navigation. It is also important to make sure navigation looks like an action item making sure you follow best practices for cursor use, hover interactions, and user feedback upon interaction.

5. Mobile Optimization

With more and more users accessing websites on their mobile devices, mobile optimization is critical for good navigation. Navigation should be designed with mobile devices in mind, including considerations such as touch targets and responsive design. This is more difficult on mobile because of limited real estate, but your mobile menu should be clear and there should be enough space between elements to make it easy for users to click their intended target without selecting the item above or below.

6. Search Functionality

While good navigation is important, sometimes users may need to find specific content on the website quickly. Including a search function can help users find what they are looking for without having to navigate through the website. Search is a great tool for e-commerce and news websites where the user may not know which navigation choice will get them the result they want.

In conclusion, good website navigation is critical for a successful website. Clarity, simplicity, consistency, accessibility, mobile optimization, and search functionality are all key elements of good navigation. By keeping these elements in mind, you can design navigation that is easy for users to understand and use, resulting in a positive user experience and ultimately, a successful website.

In a global market, you still can't beat local.

I'm sure you receive emails daily from people offering you "help" with your website 🤦. Some of them may actually be able to help, and others may become a big headache. We're here to listen to you, see what makes your business unique, and give you the best website we can. We want local businesses to succeed, we think we can help.