main menu mistakes main menu mistakes

Mayday! Avoiding and Correcting Main Menu Mistakes

June 16, 2015

Quick: What is the most important navigational element on your website? No, it isn’t the creepy pirate animated GIF pointing to content. It is your main menu.

The main menu serves a critical function on your website: It helps users find all the other content.  A poorly designed main menu can be detrimental to your website and your business.

Here are a few major mistakes to avoid with your website’s main menu:

Crazy Locations

Users expect to find a main menu at the top of your site horizontally or at the top left of your site vertically. If you put it anywhere else then they won’t know where to go to find your “inside” content. As MySiteAuditor so eloquently puts it: “Be clear, not clever.”

Crazy Sizes

The more choices they have, the longer it will take users to make a decision. No bueno. Keep your main menu short and to the point. Links should be short and to the point as well, no longer than 1-3 words. KISSmetrics suggests that menus should be limited to five items because our short term memory holds seven items. Avoid burying “trigger words” in submenus, where users may not know to look for them.

Crazy Wording

Again, don’t get clever in your main menu. Instead of “reach out” or “let’s chat,” just use “contact.” Be specific with your links as well. Instead of “services,” use the actual service titles, such as “babysitting” and “tutoring.”

Bridges to Nowhere

Every page of your site should be accessible from your main navigation. But wait, you just told me to limit my menu sizes? I have a lot of content! That’s where a content management system and a good structure will serve you well. If you have a lot of blog content, users should be able to navigate to category archives easily. If you have a lot of products, users should be able to navigate through those product categories easily.

If you have a lot of pages, really look at how you’ve got them structured. What do your users really need? Are you putting up content in pages just for the sake of having it online? It begs the question: Why are you paying to upload and store that content online if users likely will not use it?

Cube Creative can not only help you structure your site for the best user experience, we can help you edit your content into manageable information for your users. Contact us today!

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