Getting to the landing page of the site, the user may express a desire to get acquainted with other offers or materials. To do this, it is necessary to ensure the most simple movement with an intuitive and logical structure. The quality of the menu design determines the ease of navigation of the site.
Navigation – is an important issue when building a website, whether it’s based on an off-the-shelf CMS, a simple template, or a proprietary solution. What do you need to remember to make the site menu convenient for both the user and the search engine? Perhaps the answer to this question is subject to broader consideration, after studying the very essence of the menu and the function that it performs for the site.
What is a menu?
The website menu is a key navigation element. Its task is to help the recipient find the content that interests him and, of course, improve the entire navigation on the site. While UX principles are a design priority, unfortunately, in many cases, companies still do not always correctly assess the needs and comfort of potential users. Check out the trends of successful navigation menu web design projects to grasp the essence of the methods used. What is information architecture? Let’s consider in more detail.
In the case of websites, information architecture can be defined as a system of its structure, according to which the content is read and ordered, so that the Internet user can find what he is interested in at the moment. Thus, among other things, the architecture makes it possible to regulate such processes:
- accurate content organization
- clear nomenclature
- effective search engine for information
- correctly designed menu
The conversion rate on the site depends on the fine-tuning of the site design, that is, the information architecture. Each subsequent piece of the puzzle, including website user behavior (UX impact), translates into Google rankings.
What to remember when creating a website menu?
The main question is the nature of the website. There is a big difference whether it will be, for example, an online store or a simple site with several tabs. If your goal is to blog, then the menu structure will be simple, with a few links to basic information, perhaps a side menu to display previous posts.
There is definitely more work to be done with every online store. Ecommerce sites require specific, very extensive lists of categories in their menus, meaning clear information for the prospect. Online stores are the most advanced projects from a technical point of view.
The menu tree (not just for large online stores) needs to be established and well-designed. Intuitive, quick transitions between categories are the key to a positive user experience.
Menu types – pros and cons
There are several commonly used types of menus, but before making a choice in this question, you need to make sure where it will be located, because we do not always see them at the top, but on the left. Main menu options:
- The classic works flawlessly, but sometimes success is determined by non-standard solutions, the addition of some elements, for example, web animation, that can emphasize the individuality of the site. It is also worth remembering that before publishing a particular version, it is advisable to conduct tests on a certain group of people in order to verify its usefulness.
- Horizontal menu – this type is present mainly on small sites. This is the shape of the beam at the top of the page. Of the pluses, it is worth noting that it is readable and visible immediately after going to the site. It also does not take up much space and looks very natural, fully adapted to the entire structure. However, selecting a horizontal menu does not preclude overlapping with a side menu if the page requires multiple subcategories to be displayed.
- Popup menu / popup menu / dropdown menu is still a horizontal menu, but much more extensive. Using such solutions allows you to expand the vertical submenus with subcategories after you hover over or click on the main category.
These types of standards are used in all small and large online stores. E-commerce drives customers to the highest quality. Transparency, intuitive menus are aspects that every user who wants to shop on the Internet pays attention to. The fact is that such a large menu takes up most of the screen, but the pluses overshadow the minuses, because the multi-level navigation structure works.