When I ask someone to sum up the general look and feel of their website, we usually come up with clean and simple. Clean and simple is not a problem, and it has been known to be user-friendly.
We then begin discussing their page navigation, and this is where issues begin to arise. For some reason, people some to get the “make my logo bigger” syndrome when dealing with their own site navigation. Many want to just list as many pages as possible in the main navigation. Rather than just having drop down navigation that lists out different product categories or services, they want each one listed out so that their visitors can see it right away. We do know that every page is important, but so is the white space on the site.
So, I have listed a few navigation pointers for those who are looking for a clean and simple design:
- Find what is most important – What needs to be focused on? Are there any pages that you can place into a sub navigation? Make a list of what pages should be in the main navigation.
- Keep the number between five and eight – If it is too large or too small, your site could look too bare or too cluttered.
- Clean up your structure – Make a list of your full structure, placing all pages that do not need to be in the main navigation into lower levels.
- Reevaluate your navigation – Give one final review to your new structure. Condense where necessary.
As always, these are not rules, but suggestions. The simpler your website is, the more user-friendly it is.