Thursday, May 15, 2008

Web Design:Creating Navigation

Most people leave if the navigation of the website is fuzzy and confusing. Creating a good navigation architecture for a web site is a must to help users easily find a way around your site. Users must fine the information they are looking for in one or two clicks.

The best web design technology is one that keeps the navigational ease into account.

Basics

Define your information architecture and define a hierarchy of importance based on the taxonomy of your site. Example: Products, Support, Technical Information, Brochure, About, Organization etc. Once you have determined your site's architecture implement it properly organized depending upon how the user would serf through the site. There should always be a link to major pages on the front page.

If the site hierarchy is complex than add a resource page to link pages and link this resource page from the home page and all other pages of your website. This web design process starts right from the story board which helps create an effective flow chart.

Design

Once you have fixed the architecture move to design. Make it accessible to the user and search engine spiders as well. Avoid complex technologies as Flash, Java, Java Script and Ajax which are not search engine friendly. Make the links clear and use anchor text to create links. The users should know where the link is leading them. Highlight links which are very important use tag lines as well. Use alt text or captions to link your images.

Your navigation should appear on every page of your site such that the basic structure is same on each page of the website.

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