Welcome to part 2 in my series of web design errors made by developers and what we can do to overcome some of them. In Part 1 of the series, we discussed such factors like search bar and font style, specifically talking about color, style, and size. Both of these factors will either increase or decrease user engagement and it’s important to avoid errors as much as you can. I mentioned in the first part of the series how web developers get caught up in designing a website for themselves without paying too much attention to how others will react. It’s important you always consider different web browsers and platforms when creating a website. For example, what good is a website that is compatible for desktop PCs, but not for mobile users…right?
In Part 2, we’ll be exploring factors like navigational menu and clutter when designing a website for yourself or clients. Here are a few things to keep in mind going forward…
When putting together a website for your clients, it’s important you get a complete breakdown of their blog and requirements. You’ll only be able to put together an organized menu if you know what the client requires and what categories or pages need to be structured together. I can’t believe how many web designers continue to make the mistake of unstructured navigational menu. They build menus without keeping the important elements in mind. Here are just a few:
First, they put the menu in the wrong place, often like on the right or left sidebar. Statistically, it’s been proven to always add the menu to the top horizontally. This makes it easy for people to find and it’s just normal for people to look to the top when they arrive on your website. Always create a navigational menu your visitor is comfortable with and that is easy to find. Next, stick to what’s been statistically proven to be most effective, taking the following into consideration:
If users can’t find what they want in less than three clicks, most will leave immediately.
Follow the navigation conventions on the web. Do a quick search in Google and you’ll find case studies on the MOST effective navigational bars.
It’s very important to avoid clutter in the menu by keeping text to a minimum. This just makes the menu easier to read.
Using drop-down menus will allow you to keep categories more organized by narrowing them down.
Too much clutter has been known to reduce user engagement, which is why it’s strongly recommended to tweak your layout. With a solid layout in place, people will feel comfortable on your website and find what they are looking for. Clean means having a well organized website in place that incorporates the elements known to engage the user. For example, it’s been widely believed having a website with a right-side bar layout and top horizontal navigational bar increases user engagement. A website that is clean and easy on the eyes will encourage people to visit more pages along the way. However, I can’t believe how many developers make the common mistake of adding too much content, banners, and side-bars on the home page. This confuses the reader, and, in turn, will lower user engagement, having the alternative effect on your bottom line.
Here are a few things to remember:
- Avoid too many boxes
- Avoid too much content on the home page
- Stick to a right sidebar because it’s been proven to increase user engagement.
- Keep a well-organized footer.
Wrapping It Up
This is the conclusion of Part 2 and we discussed two important factors: navigational menu and clutter. Both have been proven to increase user engagement when tweaked the right way. It’s recommended to read over some case studies to ensure you know what’s been proven to work and what you should avoid. In the final part, we’ll be looking at Call-To-Action and how this is huge factor often forgotten by developers. Having the right buttons in place will increase conversions, visitors, email opt-ins, and overall profits. Experience has shown you need to ensure they are placed in the right places and we’ll learn what experience has taught us.