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Make your navigation visible on the website

29 November 2012

When the navigation system is effective, it usually stands out on the site. To make it clear and prominent, it’s important to meticulously think of a section on the site that would be designed exactly for navigation. This section is supposed to be recognized as a navigation area when a visitor arrives at the website. If it doesn’t happen and your prospective customer feels lost, navigation is definitely not effective.

Unfortunately, there are too many websites nowadays that are overly subdued. Too much colour and too many decorating elements can also drown out clarity of the navigation. Of course, there are some navigation options such as a privacy policy, for example, that don’t need to be emphasized on the site. And yet, aside from those few exceptional options, ideally you want to have your navigation used and seen. Therefore, it’s important to make it really visible and prominent over the rest of the site.

Here are a few tips how to make your navigation to stand out:

  • Place it in a visible area so that visitors can spot it. Positioning plays a very important role. Allocate your navigation menu somewhere at the top or left of the web page. Remember that visitors scan the page from left to right, starting in the top left corner and reading down the page. Therefore, if your navigation is placed at the top of the site or on the left, it will be easy for your visitors to find it. That’s the place where visitors naturally expect to see it.
  • Size and colour are the most effective methods to make things noticed on the site. Colour can be used to powerfully draw visitors’ attention to certain elements and information. A widely used technique is to place navigation options on a coloured field, on a sidebar or on a horizontal bar. This technique works very effectively because it creates a strong contrast between other elements. The brightest, most vivid and saturated colours generally stand out on the site, but keep in mind that it’s very important to check how your navigation colour mixes together with the entire web page.
  • Don’t clutter your website. By doing so, your navigation will have a little chance to be spotted on the site. Give it space so that every detail can be seen. Picture a crowded room. Would it be easy to find a particular person amongst thousands of people? Don’t let your key elements to get lost in the excessive entourage.
  • Make sure you separate your navigation from the ads. Aside from that, make sure you don’t place your navigation above the logo. That’s the most common place for banners and thus, generally ignored by visitors. And what’s important as well is to make your navigation look differently to ads.

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