Continued from – Website Design Secrets: The General Layout (pt. 4)
Navigation simply refers to how easy it is for users to move around different parts of your website. Making navigation as easy as possible for users is important because you want visitors to see every section and every part of your website. That is why you included those sections, after all.
But not only do you want users to see all the different sections, users also want to see the different sections. And if you haven’t made it easy for them to do so, they’ll quickly become frustrated and leave for another website; one that has made navigation easy.
In order to have easy navigation, it’s important that pages have a logical page hierarchy, preferably with clickable buttons and categories telling users what to do and how to get where they want. When it comes to navigation, web designers use what’s known as the “three click rule”. This means that users should be able to get to wherever they want to go within a website in just three clicks.
The left-hand side of the page is also very important when trying to make navigation easier. Users typically tend to look for information along the left-hand side of the page, and in the top left corner. Keeping this in mind, this is where important information, clickable buttons and calls to action should be placed. The right-hand side of the page, specifically the top right corner, are largely ignored by users so important information should not be placed here.
Clear calls to action
A call to action (better known as CTA in the world of website design) is just that – a call to your visitors for the action you want them to take. Subscribing to your newsletter, contacting the company for more information, or buying a product are all calls to action, but there can be many more as well.
Calls to action typically show up on websites in the form of clickable buttons, forms, or fields where they enter information such as their email address. They are very important for every website, so when designing yours it’s very important that you think about where you want them to appear on your website.
Be the king (or queen) of content
‘Content is king’ is a phrase that originated almost as soon as websites started appearing online, and it’s one that’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Content is crucial to a website, it’s how visitors know what you’re about, what your company does, and what action they are encouraged to take.
There is so much to know about content that there have been millions of blog posts and articles written on this one topic but in the end, clear and concise is always best. Don’t stuff your landing page with huge sections of text; the chances are people just aren’t going to read through all of it. Use your landing pages to get your point across quickly and concisely. If you have lots of information to convey to visitors, place a blog button on your page and write individual posts. It will still give them access to that information, but it won’t clutter up your website either.
In some cases, there may be a lot of content you want on your website that simply doesn’t fit within a blog layout. For instance, if you’re a contractor that offers many different types of services, you may not want a blog post just to identify each individual service. Grouping content into categories within the website can help with this, but make sure you don’t fall into the trap of including every single service individually.
For example, if you offer plumbing services in addition to other services, you may not want individual sections for each type of plumbing. Instead, just have one category for ‘plumbing’ and a different one for ‘roofing’ and another for ‘flooring services’. People will still know where to go to find what they need and your website won’t look congested.