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"Under construction" and other clueless mistakes – Part 2

The last post looked at one of my favorite bugbears, "Under Construction" pages.  This week, we look at senseless navigation.

Senseless navigation

What do I mean by senseless navigation?  Well, it comes mainly in 2 categories in my opinion.

  1. Illogical menu selections
  2. Pages too deep
Illogical menu selections

I have seen some very confusing sites in my surfing.  Under "Illogical menu selections" I lump non-standard approaches to content presentation.  Where do most people expect to find phone numbers, email address, and physical addresses?  Either in the footer or on a page accessed by choosing "Contact" or "Contact us".  Now some may argue that putting it under "About" or "About us" makes perfect sense and I sympathise with them.  To a point.  Yes, contact information IS "about the company", but that is not where it has been displayed for years.  And why make visitors scroll past all your self-serving back-slapping to get to your contact info anyway?   They want contact info to contact you!  Why make them play 20 guesses looking for it?

Other silly menus have been products listed under a tab called "Services" when the company provides both products and services.  Yes, it seems logical now that it's written down in from og you, but, first time on a site, it isn't always that easy.

Pages too deep

When I'm designing, I try to keep ALL pages within 2 clicks of the home page.  Why?  Simple, do you want your visitors to have to click through 5 options to get to the information they want?  Sure, many may come from search engines directly to the page they want, regardless of its depth.  But what about after they have read that, don't you think they may want to go elsewhere?  Why make it difficult?  I always try to link from within the content to other pages within the site for this reason.  It's also good for SEO purposes.

The bottom line is KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid!).  Internet surfers are, by and large, impatient.  If they don't, or can't, find the info they want on your site, they will leave; and quickly, likely NEVER to return.  So keep navigation clean and clear and avoid this sort of breadcrumb trail....

Home/Page1/Page2/Page3/Man you've got staying power!/Page5/You made it!!


Under construction 3
Under construction

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