The Best Way To Navigate Web Readers: Fixing Designer’s Choice

Web designers often face a challenge while putting information on a site page. Should they put lots of links to navigate readers or create a long page for them to scroll down? To simplify, does clutter work better than clicking in website design formula or vice versa? Which is the ideal strategy?

Need thorough inspection:

Web design is still in growth stage, therefore changing the very way designers navigate the information for readers. It is high time, professional web designers pull up their socks and invent the rules that work. The situation needs a detailed introspection.

What do the popular web design theories suggest? Do most of the successful websites follow the traditional theory of web and hypertext design? Many often, for modern day web designers, these issues often remain unattended and unanswered.

Accept the rule that works:

Whether you obey or break web design rules, the only mantra to survive is – save valuable time of online readers. This is a time-starved generation and anything that waste their times is nothing but a loser’s battle.

You have two weapons to apply:

Either, put lots of links on a page from where reader can get to his or her preferred pages with least number of clicks.

Or, place a small number of links with long page information where readers have to click a lot to access the information.

Go by the facts:

Traditional web theory suggests that designers should give a reader no more than five to seven links to choose from. They must not scroll down much to access complete information.

However, if you look at the high traffic sites like Yahoo, CNN, America Online, they often break the rules by cluttering a lot. On the contrary, Amazon.com faced a huge problem while linking a list of all Amazon stores on its home page. You can use this to your advantage by getting great discount coupons before visiting Amazon.

It shows you have to flow with the waves that high traffic websites are citing.

Experiment to excel:

Great website designs come with tests, tests and retesting. You should frequently try out new designs and experiment what is working and what is not. Comments and suggestions can also improve website navigation. Customer response, search engine   results can also guide you on the process.

Know eyetracking strategy of web readers:

It is beyond doubt that online readers are developing new reading skills and approaches. Though designers prefer a set of limited choices, there are many to learn from in this online world.

Few tips may help you scan the reader’s response:

  • Emphasize on text (3/4 of the whole page) than graphics (1/4). Users are generally drawn towards, headlines, titles, summaries and captions than images.
  • Keep headlines simple and direct.
  • Limit the page information to a brief. Users only read 75% of the whole text. So, put text having selected depth and scanability.
  • Follow interlaced browsing behavior (switching windows) of users. Provide breadcrumbs and other location tools since browsers can’t remember the entire sessions. It is applicable, especially, when you want to include number of deep pages and avoid clutter.
  • Use standard terminology that prevents users to switch context.

However, following these tips can help you balance the trade-off between text and links on a particular web page. Remember, anything that gifts you repeat and loyal visitors is the best web design strategy. Whatsoever, don’t deviate much from the rules as well.

Anton Entin is an eminent web analyst who writes articles on web designing tips. For more information on web design Chicago you can refer to BIT Studios.