The Difference Between a Good Website and a Bad Website, Part 2: Navigation
For my second installment in this series, I thought I would discuss the importance of navigation in whether a website falls into my “good” or “bad” category. How easy a website is to navigate is one of those things that you might not notice if it’s good, but you will definitely notice it if it’s bad. In fact, it can be so frustrating that it might be the difference between you ever revisiting a website or not. I would go as far as to say that navigation is one of the absolute most important parts of a website.
We’ve all been there. You get to a website, and immediately feel overwhelmed just looking at it. You immediately ask the question, “where do I go?” (either in your head or out loud) and as the seconds tick by and you feel like that question remains unanswered, the frustration levels keep increasing. Let’s face it, these days people do not have much patience when they are using the internet. Back when we used to have to listen to the dial up every time we signed on, we might have been okay with having to look around a bit to find what we want. We were used to waiting. But nowadays, people know what they want and they want to be able to find it easily and quickly. That’s just the way it is. Another way you might know if you visited a bad website in terms of navigation is if you try to find something on the website a second time/tell some one else where to go to find it–and you realize you can’t find it again or have no idea how to explain it. The conversation might go something like this:
Person A: So I found the coolest thing on this one website the other day.
Person B: Oh yeah? Show me! (Note: at this point, they are excited to go on the website…)
Person A: Well let’s see…I think I clicked on this first…no that’s not it…maybe it was this…no…hmm, how did I find it…(this might continue for several minutes until both people just give up and Person A just tries to explain it without showing it. The likelihood of Person B ever going onto said website on their own is now very low).
Unfortunately, this is very common. So many websites are too confusing to navigate, and that is probably a big part of the reason why not too many people visit them. One should not have to “practice” to get better at using a website. It should be easy the first time.
A website that is in the “good” category for navigation is not at all confusing. Almost immediately after arriving there, one knows exactly what to do to get to where they want to go. It is logical and requires little to no guesswork on the part of the user. And if you wanted to find it again, it would be very easy to do. To go back to the above conversation, if it was a good website, they would have found the information easily, and then if Person B wanted to show it to some one or revisit it themselves at a later time, they would feel confident in their ability to do so. If you were to visit any of the FreshySites websites, you would notice that they are extremely easy to navigate. They make sense, and are therefore easy to use. Which is the whole point! Visiting a website should never feel like a scavenger hunt. It is a search for information that should take very little effort–if the website is a good one, that is. If you think that your website might fall into the bad category in this area, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us here at FreshySites. We would love to help you.