Your navigation menu is one of the most important components of your website. Its setup should involve lots of planning so that it prompts users to explore your website in a very strategic manner that ultimately leads to conversions. In order to improve the effectiveness of your website’s navigation menu, here are three common mistakes to avoid.
1. Having Too Many Links in your Website Menu
Loading your website’s header with a bunch of menu links can overwhelm the user. The desired path you want them to follow becomes unclear because you are presenting them with too many options. Not to mention, an overloaded website header results in a cluttered, unappealing web design. Our recommendation is to have six or less links in your primary navigation menu. To achieve this, you may want to consider consolidating some of your website’s pages or nesting their links within a dropdown submenu.
2. Using Cute or Clever Link Names
Getting creative with how you title your menu links may seem like a fun idea, but it can actually negatively impact your website’s user experience. It’s always best to be as clear and direct as possible when it comes to your website’s navigation menu. For example, instead of having a portfolio menu link that says “I Do” or “Happily Ever After” opt for the more straightforward alternative “Weddings” which requires no guesswork for the user.
3. Having a Sticky Menu that’s too Large
A fixed position website header that stays in place as the user scrolls can be a handy way to keep menu links accessible. However, you must consider the height of this area. If too large, it creates the undesired effect of blocking too much of the page content, particularly for users on smaller screens. Our rule of thumb is to keep the height of sticky menus under 100px tall for desktop screens, and for mobile devices, keep it under 50px tall or simply remove the fixed positioning altogether.