Organizing website navigation in a way that’s intuitive is often a challenge. I just came across a site that should have been fairly simple to organize, due to a relatively small number of products – but instead I hit multiple bloopers.
What first caught my eye were the particular drop-down menu choices generated by the “About Us” tab. Here are the subcategories:
Where to Buy
Conditions of Use
Mailing List Unsubscribe
The first thing that jumped out at me was “Mailing List Unsubscribe.” This is one of several sites I’ve noticed recently that makes “unsubscribe” a major navigational subcategory. In every case, I then looked for the “Subscribe” option … and couldn’t find it anywhere! Mystifying…
The final thing that caught my eye was what was missing. Most of the time, “about us” tells the visitor about the company’s purpose, establishes credibility and often reinforces a commitment to customer service. Some “about us” pages reveal a company culture with such personality that it establishes a connection with the reader. In this case, there was no page that served that purpose. An opportunity to educate and reassure the customer was squandered.
In addition to being clean and simple, your website navigation needs to be intuitive. If the purpose of your site is to sell products, then make sure that products are the first navigational links the visitor sees after “Home.” People expect to find major navigational categories, listed in order of importance, on the top horizontal navigation … somewhat more detail on the left vertical navigation … and the least important links at the bottom. Depart from convention, and you risk confusing and frustrating your website visitors.