While there are many, many, man…..well, you get it–a whole lot of ways to make your site more user friendly, one of the first things a visitor will interact with is your menu. Using simple, easy to follow menu navigation is a must have. When a new visitor clicks to your site, making their experience poor with vague menu links or having items that lead to unrelated information are sure ways to get a quick page bounce or lose a new customer. Luckily, there are a few simple ways to reduce confusion and up conversions.
Mega menus can lead to mega confusion
Mega menus came into favor a few years ago. Personally, except in the most limited of circumstances, I’m not a big fan. I think it is very easy to be romanced by all the pretty pictures, icons and colors, along with the seemingly endless options. I’ve seen it sway folks into putting way too much information in a menu, leading to much confusion on the end user side. These menus can grow to nearly the size of a page if you aren’t careful!
Clean, direct, menu navigation will lead users to better selections of content, and more directly, to find what they came to your site to see in the first place. There is nothing more intimidating to an end user than clicking on a menu item and being presented with an overwhelming set of photos, icons and choices. Most users have a pretty good idea of what they are looking for once they take the leap and click on your site to begin with. Better to give them a menu navigation link of Tops—-(a few choices of styles or seasons) than have them click on tops and see thumbnails of every item you sell. Shoppers generally like to browse a little bit, see what their choices are, and in the end possibly pick up a few extra items to boot!
Give fewer secondary menu navigation choices
What to do for your primary pages or secondary content, especially if you have several items you want to draw attention? Rather than overloading your menu, setup a feature block or landing page. Make a feature block stand out with background coloring and/or thumbnail images and do something different with the text. This will draw attention to the content you want to push and not clutter the navigation.
A landing page, specifically designed around “sections” is another excellent idea. You can include the landing page in the navigation, without loading it up with the secondary choices. A landing page with ‘tops” containing selections for top “groups” will allow your visitors to see all the varieties of tops in one, easy to read page. Let them click on a top or section header to further drill down into that final grouping.
Make section titles or link text stand out
Don’t make your visitors decide what is a link or not. Some menu navigation contains section titles. If you are going to use this technique make sure it is easy to tell what is an actual link and what is a title. Don’t use a slightly different shade of black or gray. Use a completely different color to help users differentiate between section titles ad links to new pages.
It’s important to make your site navigation clean, crisp and clear to your visitors. If a new customer doesn’t land on the information they were expecting or has too much difficulty finding what they came for, they may very well leave. Keep your menu navigation and your site clutter free and convert those visitors into paying customers!