May 31, 2012

Ways to Navigate Users to the Site

Imagine that you are traveling by car, but because of traffic jams all the main roads are blocked and you need to turn in an unfamiliar part of town. For a while, moving in the right direction will help you to road signs, but suddenly they disappear. It seems to get lost in an unfamiliar place pushover.

Any site, regardless of its ultimate goal should be to perform the main task - to specify the path to the user information of interest to him. However, perhaps the fault of their own, and perhaps the fault of the designer, the user is lost and does not know where to go. How do you help your visitors navigate the site. There are several effective ways.

Page Titles

Each page of the site needs to be unique, rather short, but no less meaningful title. The title tells users that it can be found on a given page. Page titles performs its function is much more effective if:

  • more basic font header text at least a couple of pixels;
  • used a different font color, font or background;
  • there is a noticeable space above and below the title.

Bread crumbs

"Bread crumbs" is called a chain of links that are intended to show how the current page belongs to the principal.Often they are located directly above the page title. For example: Home> Forums> Jobs> Jobs.

Advantages of "bread crumbs" in their ability to instantly point to the location of the user, and to help the latter understand the structure and hierarchy of the site. The user sees, how he got to the current page, and how he go back a few steps back.

In this case, "breadcrumbs" show the real structure of the site, rather than the way in which the user came from.By the way, if you have a blog on wordpress, I advise you to read the article about how to make bread crumbs in WordPress using plug Breadcrumb NavXT.

Primary and secondary navigation

Although it is obvious, but not out of place to recall that it was proper to use the primary navigation is the most powerful tool to guide users. It is desirable to make the navigation controls other than the color and the background, the names of navigational elements should closely match the page title. In contrast to primary navigation, which determines the sections of the site, the secondary takes the user to specific pages. You can use the PSD files beautiful menu for the site , which were published in the last article.


Links must clearly communicate, where they lead. Users are more likely to pass by reference, if there is to know where it leads. Do not load the page meaningless slogans like "Click Here". As the names of other elements of navigation, the names of references should correspond to the target page title. Some tips on design options , you can also find in this blog.

The structure of the page

An important role in the site navigation and structure of the plays of its pages. When designing pages, remember that:

  • Many users are familiar with the standard structures of sites, so the location of the navigation controls in the places where they expect to see, makes it easier to navigate. Try to avoid too "clever" designs.
  • easier for the user to decide where to go, if the key elements (links) are close by. Try to group the key elements.


It is desirable to show the user steps in the procedure that he performs on the site (we are talking about procedures that require sequential visits to several pages, for example, when ordering the goods in e-commerce site or downloading files.) Make progress is easily visible to the user saw his current position, passed, and the next steps.

Site Map

Availability of maps is important for sites with many pages. That's really where it's easy to get lost! Go to the map can be accessed when the information can not be found by searching the site, so the site map should fully reflect the structure of the latter, to be clear and understandable. To create a wordpress site map for your blog , you can use plug-dagon design sitemap generator.

Title page (Title)

Title page - the text, which is located in the browser's title bar. Remember, the shorter the name, the easier to understand its meaning. Important information first place, since it is often the first few words are the most important to users. The meaning of the name should remain clear, even if the page is not visible (in your history or favorites list.)

In general, all requests for user navigation will be extremely positive influence not only on the positive perception of the project from the visitors. Some of them are also useful for search engines - site map, breadcrumbs, the name of the page - all the right things. In addition, the better the usability of the project, including navigation, the better it will work and the more he will be giving.


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