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User Friendly Web Navigation

Figure out your site’s information and have it all laid out and organized so you can determine how and what to build so that it’s easy to use. This is considered to be your information architecture. To be structurally appealing for your website consider some of these aspects, particularly if the site is for a corporate or business web page.

• Products: This is the services or products that your business offers.
• Investor Relations: This information is specifically aimed toward the investors of your business and may also be informative to potential investors.
• About: This tells what your business is, what you stand for, your mission, your location and contact information and more information about your business.
• Support: This provides assistance to people on your website, particularly customers. There may be a link that’s not working properly or if your site is an e-commerce site, they need to know how to contact someone to help them place an order. If your site is a personal web page, you have different information that you need to provide.
• About Me: What is the purpose of the site and identify yourself and any credentials you may have that give more information about you and the purpose of the website.
• Friends and Family: This can provide information about your personal relationships so readers can get more of an idea of who you are.
• Favorite Links: This can help link to other people’s websites that perhaps you know and want to help them develop web traffic or you can give information about some of the links that are your favorites or any websites that may give additional information about the topics on your website.

Organization

Once you’ve figured out the basic structure of your website and what it needs to consist of, it’s time to definitely organize it before going live online. You can have multiple pages that you link to from your front page or you could have everything all in one directory. While analyzing how this should be arranged, consider how people surfing your site would want to navigate your site. Think it out on paper so you can visually see how it will flow. Use diagrams and story boards so you can see it visually laid out before going to the trouble of building it only to discover it does not make sense. If you have multiple pages, think about how your one site can all link together as one big web, literally. Map out multiple ways you want the people visiting your page to be able to click.

Website Design

Once you’ve figured out the content and how to organize it, it’s down to the design element of your web site.

Make sure your site is accessible. Keep flash, Java or JavaScript minimal or non-existent. If someone doesn’t have these plug-ins, the site is of no use to the potential reader.

Make sure your content is meaningful and make your information clear. Make sure the information serves a purpose. Otherwise, your website is a waste of time to people.

Make links obvious so that they know what to click on. Skip the cutesy phrases. A first-timer to your website needs to know where to go, simply. Make sure any words and images are understandable and correlate with each other if you use images for linking.

Keep your navigation tools obvious on each page, that way people can go back to the front page if they need to in order to go to different sub-pages. Keep it similar on each page is recommended and in an obvious area, either as a header, footer, or down one side of the page.