The navigation menu is one of the most viewed and popular parts of the interface. Let’s take a look at some of the navigation design principles that will help our users get a better experience.
1. Placement matters
The Internet has developed a clear navigation pattern (very top of the page, left side, or footer). When menus are placed outside of these areas, they become awkward and difficult to find.
2. Show users where they are
Tell users their current location clearly. Use a few clues like the ones below to help them navigate. Our users should never wonder where they are.
Research shows mega menus are better than dropdowns (dropdowns) because they show everything at once, can use images, allow for better grouping of sections, and appear more attractive.
4. Effective link titles
The user should be able to easily predict where the link will lead him before he clicks on it (this is called information scent). For this, the most important factor is how well we subscribe links.
The correct number of items on your menu depends on several things, such as how complex your product is or how smart your users are. But try to choose less than 6 or 7 items. Order matters too.
6. Don’t hide them
The navigation menu is one of the most popular parts of the interface, and it provides the user with basic contextual information, so it should always be visible.
These days, the default hamburger menu is used on mobile devices, but there are alternatives that don’t completely hide the navigation: tabs, progressive collapse, scrolling lists, etc.
7. Visual design tips
Good interface design goes a long way. Below are some tips for improving it. When in doubt, test them! And don’t forget about accessibility.
That’s all! Thanks for reading.