Friday, January 11, 2008

Website Blunders - A Complicated Navigation System

by Lorna Findlay

One of the worst mistakes you can make with a web site is to have poor or complicated navigation. The best web sites are those with the simplest navigation methods. Simple navigation does not mean a simple-looking web site. In fact, the most professional websites often have the least complicated navigation systems.

One of the biggest drawbacks to having a complicated navigation system is the probability that some of the links will break down. It becomes very hard, if not impossible, to make changes to a website that has such complicated navigation. Making a change to content on one page can mess up the links if you aren't careful. One of the worst things you can do is have your potential customers try to click on a link that goes nowhere.

Eliminate the chance for problems with navigation by using simple navigation systems. If you are making your own website always plot it out in flow-chart form before implementing it. This will help to ensure that everything links properly. Have someone else look at your chart before you use it to ensure that it not only works properly but also that it will look good.

One of the best ways to provide a clean looking and smooth running site is to use the same set of navigation buttons throughout the site. Place the same buttons on each page so that the site can easily be navigated. Users will get a quick understanding of the working of your site and can concentrate on the content instead of looking for how to get around.

On each page be sure to put a link to the home page. If you have many pages of content it is easy to get lost far away from the home page. Instead of using the "back" button on the browser it is much easier and efficient for the users to click on the "home" button so they can start over if need be. Don't provide too many buttons or places for users to click. This can get confusing and muddles up the site making it look unprofessional.

Research other sites with similar content to see how they deal with navigation. You may be able to combine certain areas under one button and then break them down later on in the site. Most people can easily deal with about 5 buttons to click on. As you add more than that you are adding not only more complexity to the site but are also risking the integrity of the function.

About the Author

To discover the Top 30 Website Blunders and how you can avoid them when launching your next website, please visit