People often use the words “Information Architecture” to mean the menu or navigation on websites or in apps, but that’s not really correct. While menus are a part of IA, they’re really only one part of it. People won’t use your web site if they can’t find their way around it.
You have your own experience as a web user. If you go to a site and can’t find what you’re looking for or figure out how the site is organized and how it works? You’re not likely to stay on that site and then come back.
Everyone presenting different detail about the website navigation but my article is going to cover everything about it. By the end of this article, you’ll have a good understanding of the website navigation. Below is a breakdown of what we are going to cover in this article.
2) Navigation In Real Life
3) Navigation and Real Life Similarities
4) Navigation Conventions
5) Types of navigation
6) Benefits of Navigation
7) Why We use term Web Navigation?
8) History of navigation
Navigation is a track of hyperlinks through which a user visit the whole site. The navigation system is analogous to a road map which enables web page visitors to explore and discover different areas and information contained within the website.
Navigation In Real Life:
In real life how navigation work? When you go for a grocery store, you start looking at the signs at the end of each aisle. When you think you’ve got the right aisle, you start looking at the individual products. If it turns out you’ve guessed wrong, you try another aisle, or you may back up and start over again. Basically, you use the store’s navigation systems. Looking for things on a Web site and looking for them in the “real” world have a lot of similarities. When we’re exploring the Web using navigation, in some ways it even feels like we’re moving around in a physical space. Navigation is closely related to information retrieval and enable users to find information easily.
Navigation is decision-based on a number of variables how familiar you are with a site? How much you trust the site’s ability to organize things sensibly? How much of a hurry you’re in using it?
Navigation and Real Life Similarities:
In real life when you enter a grocery store you first find someone to ask something. If the clerk is smarter and gives a credible answer you look for an aisle. Then you look for a product, find it and pay happily. If the clerk is unable to credible answer, You decide to browse and try to look for the right aisle and look for the product. In such a case if you find it you pay for it happily. If it turns out you’ve guessed wrong, you try another aisle, or you may back up and start over again.
In the above example, you used the store navigation process. Similarly, this process happens in your mobile or web apps.
When you enter a website You’re usually trying to find something. It may be headphones or something else. You decide whether to ask first or browse first. The difference is that on a Web site there’s no clerk standing around who can tell you where are the things. On the web equivalent of asking directions is searching. Typing a description of what you’re looking for in a search box and getting back a result of links to places where it might be.
Some people will almost always look for a search box as soon as they enter a site. These may be the same people who look for the nearest clerk. Other people will almost always browse first, searching only when they have gotten sufficiently frustrated by the site.
Looking for things on a Web site and looking for them in the “real” world have a lot of similarities. Some of them are described below.
Directions: Both Web and physical space have direction similarities. On physical space, you can move left, right, back and forward. But on the Web, your feet never touch the ground instead, you use “Back” and “Next” button for moving left and right. Similarly, you use scroll_bar for moving up and down on a page.
Sense of Location: Both Web and physical space have Location similarities. In physical spaces, as we move around the space for going to a specific point. But on the Web, your feet never touch the ground instead, you make your way around by clicking on tabs. On web pages and tabs represent to your location.
Sense of Scale: Both Web and physical space have scale similarities. Compare this to a museum, or a department store, where you always have at least a rough sense physical space. It has an area in sense of scale, But on the web site, there is no physical space. On the web, we measure scale in the sense of pages. How many pages are there? And how long they are?
Shortcut: Both Web and physical space have shortcut similarities. On physical space you make a shortcut to reach quickly on a specific point. Instead of relying on a physical sense of where it is, we have to remember where it is in the conceptual hierarchy and retrace our steps. This is one reason use bookmarks, home page link and the site logo link. It also explains why the concept of Home pages is so important. Home pages are comparatively fixed places. When you’re in a site, the Home page is like the North Star. Being able to click Home gives you a fresh start.
Physical spaces like cities, buildings and books have their own navigation conventions like street signs, page numbers, and chapter titles etc. Conventions specify the appearance and location, so we know what to look for and where to look when we need them. But the major conventions for navigation are underline or tab colour, the icon used for a tab, drop-down, ID or Logo, page name, utilities, sections, breadcrumbs, search bar etc.
Tabs: Tabs are important conventions of navigations. Because when a tab highlighting by its different colour or underline. It tells the user where am I? in the site. There are a number of ways to make the current location stand out by putting a pointer next to it, change text colour, use bold text, reverse the button, change button colour.
Breadcrumbs: Like “You are here” indicators. Breadcrumbs show you where you are and where from you came? Breadcrumbs show you the path from the Home page to where you are and make it easy to move back up to higher levels in the hierarchy of a site.
The Utilities: Utilities are the links to important elements of the site that aren’t really part of the content hierarchy. These are things that either can help me use the site like Sign in, Register, Help, a Site Map, FAQ, or a shopping cart, search etc. Utilities provide information about its publisher like About Us and Contact Us.
Site ID or Logo: The Site ID or logo is like the building name for a Web site. It provides info I am still in this site. Site ID or Logo gives you a fresh start.
Types of navigation:
The use of website navigation tools allows for a website’s visitors to experience the site with the most efficiency and the least incompetence.
Global navigation: Global navigation also called persistent navigation or section navigation. It consists of the set of navigation elements that appear on major pages of a site. It shows the top-level sections and lists the main content sections of the website. These are the links to the main sections of the site, the top level of the site’s hierarchy.
Secondary navigation: The secondary navigation display the list of subsections in the current section. For example when you click on the main tab and drop-down appear you get sub-menus.
Local navigation: Local navigation is the links within the text or component of a given web page, linking to other important pages within the website.
Footer navigation: The footer navigation provides a clear, simple path to all the web pages from anywhere on the website. It also provides an idea of how this site working.
Benefits of Navigation:
Navigation has following benefits,
1) Navigation speedup the applications development process.
2) Make your application easy to use.
3) Navigation increase users’ loyalty.
4) By making the hierarchy visible it tells us what’s here, where are you? It also tells us what the site contains.
5) It tells us how to use the site. it tells you implicitly where to begin and what your options are. Done correctly, it should be all the instructions you need.
6) Without good navigation, there is no logical and effective user experience.
7) Good navigation makes it possible for a user to focus on their tasks.
Why We use term Web Navigation?
If you look up navigation in a dictionary, it’s about doing two things getting from one place to another, and figuring out where you are. Navigation isn’t just a feature of a Web site it is exploring and figuring out method. It also helps in moving from one page to another. Due to this, we use term web navigation.
History of navigation:
Historically navigation has been concerned with the organization and presentation of content, journalism, and technical communication. Web navigation came about with the introduction of the World Wide Web in 1989 when “Timothy Berners-Lee” invented it.
In conclusion this blog for spreading some of my thoughts and research about web navigation. I initially wanted to make this blog way shorter than it should be. But then I think I went overboard, talking about the things that may necessary for beginners and experts. However, I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post as a newbie, not an experienced UXer. It’s more for me because there are many people around me who asked me to write a web navigation blog. That was the motivation behind writing this blog.
I hope this article will be helpful for beginners and experts. This article takes you one step ahead in the UI/UX field. If you like it please comments on and share it with your friends. If you need UI/UX services to let us direct contact or by Upwork. Stay in touch with Linkedin, Facebook, Pinterest, Dribbble, Behance, Upwork.
Now you know all about UX psychology, you may be interested in the following:
1) Information Architecture and It’s Approaches
2)What is the User interface (UI) design? Conventions and Elements
3)User Experience and why it matters? 20 Reasons
4)The Elements of User Experience Design
5)What is the atomic design
7)What is UX psychology and it’s principal