Clean Navigation

Clean navigation and a simple layout are closely related and are often both expressed in the design of the common template. When users visit your website, they will see a method of navigation used on the initial page; when they go to subsequent pages, they will want to see those links appear in the same position on those pages. The less you force the people visiting your site to learn new navigation techniques, the more they will like your siteā€”and use it, if it interests them.

Another important tip for easy website navigation is to have a site map, showing a well-ordered outline of all the available web pages. If the site has too many pages to actually list them in a site map, it's good to have multiple-page site maps, to expand to deeper levels. For example, a company website site map can have lower-level departmental site maps linked off the main site map.

Another important navigation tool is a simple search form. Never underestimate the value of such a widget in helping people who are visiting your website find what they are looking for, especially if you're selling a large inventory of products from the site. You can easily implement features such as this using Google's capability to narrow a search within a specific domain; this is why many websites incorporate a simple search form that lets Google provide the programming muscle for searching the site. It's free and easy to use, so you really have no excuse for not using it.

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