Tips for navigation planning

Navigation is important to the sucess of your website visitor’s experience. It's like a road map to the different areas and information on the site.

Helping people find their way around your website

Site visitors may enter your site through the homepage. Others may come from a search that led them straight to a certain page.

To be effective, your site's navigation needs to:

  • be consistent throughout the website
  • reduce clutter by grouping links into sections
  • have minimal clicking to get the visitor where they want to go

Some basic guidelines

  • Make navigation names descriptive and straightforward. (No acronyms or vague terms.)
  • For pages with a lot of content, you can use tabs and accordions to group content into smaller chunks.
  • Menu navigation links should only go to pages on your site, not to external websites.
  • The first and last item on a navigation list are often the most visible/visited items.

What to avoid

  • Your site's navigation cannnot link directly to files such as PDFs, Word or PowerPoint files. You'll need to create a page with links to those files.
  • Your navigation can't just link to another website. Instead, you can create a landing page with some description of the other site and a link. You can also use buttons for this.
  • Don't create links to "secure" areas of any website from your navigation, such as having a "department only" section.