Web Design: You Need The Right Navigation Bar
A website visitor will always look at more pages and spend longer on a site when the navigation links are easy to find. The wheel does not need to be reinvented with website navigation – most sites have their nav bars at the top of the page for one reason alone…it works! There is a train of thought that suggests that you should put your primary navigation at the foot of a page so that the user has to scroll down and see the entire page before leaving it. This sounds great in principle, but it relies heavily upon people liking what they see and actually having the patience to read the whole page! People’s online attention span is short and it’s constantly reducing, partly due to the ‘snippet’ real-time nature of social media. By all means have a secondary navigation at the bottom or the side of the page (in fact, this is advised), but grab people’s attention in the most prominent place – the top of the page.
Once you have decided upon the placing and style of the homepage navigation keep it consistent throughout the website and on every page. Not only does it form part of your brand, people need to be able to quickly and easily recognise where they can find their next page destination. You should be doing everything you possibly can not to frustrate your website viewers to keep them on your site as long as possible. By all means have fancy rollovers, flash animation or any other technique you desire to draw people’s attention but ensure that you are not overcomplicating things for the viewer.
The more you frustrate your customers the more likely they are to leave without contacting or buying from you. Keep things appealing, simple and consistent with your primary navigation bar.