5
Feb 2013

Mix and Match Custom Web Design For Smarter Navigation

Posted By - PLAVEB

Custom web designs put more focus on easy and intuitive navigation. A great navigational website dramatically improves user experience and the overall site performance. Clear, simple and contextual navigations help web designers to add a third dimension to their sites. An intuitive navigation guides users easily into the various sections like content, graphics and videos.

Let’s take a look at these creative practices to design smart navigation:

Attractive Icons
Use visually pleasing icons to aid in better web navigation. Create icons that are logical connects to their links, is easily recognizable and delivers the core message effectively. These can be placed on either the left or right sidebars.

Elemental Navigation
Incorporate flash elements like calendars, pencils, brush and anything related to the business to design elemental navigation. Such elements can be simply placed at the center of your web page and when users click or hover over them they will be directed to the linked pages. Make sure the elements are placed in a logical flow. 3D effects also make for great navigational effects thus making the whole user experience simple and rational.

Full Page Navigations
These are apparently the most dramatic navigations used. Design a full page, with horizontal layers flowing on the page. Apart from looking attractive, the layers lead users to external links, with their cool hover effects. Use bold text in each of the layers with a slightly larger font. Color each layer differently. Similarly you can place enlarged columned bars connected to separate web pages and links. Design the website using flash and let these links drive users through the web pages. Develop sites with large menu bars in their headers, on clicking the menu it drops down a list of new links for navigation. You can include a lot of entertaining visuals related to your UX design.

Animations
Use crawling, walking, running, jumping animals to build engaging navigational effects. Let these objects move around freely on the web page. Use sound effects, so whenever your user clicks or taps the animation they get to hear the animal’s sound. Additionally, allow the animation to carry the user to the linked web pages. This technique is especially good for designing sites for kids.

Tabs
Experiment with your tabs. Implement vertical tabs as opposed to horizontal to achieve interesting results. Plan the tabs properly so as to avoid space concerns in your web page. Place tabs on the right hand side of the page and choose appropriate text so it does not become too difficult to read.

Hover Effects
These are quite flexible in their use. Use different colors to show various site sections and place them on the left sidebar. When the user hovers their mouse on the side bar the icons will show up with navigational options. Be creative with hover effects, use titles on the web page as hover effects for engaging experiences.

Some Uncommon Navigation

  • You can place a hash mark between your web pages. This is to indicate that all new content is controlled and not showed on their web page. Use flash for this idea to work well. Include sliding effects in building page transitions, thus creating fresh and distinctive web pages.
  • Use keyboard arrow keys to switch between segments on the home page. Users can click on the project to see an enlarged image and some more information. The clickable items will not lead to a new page but will give only a brief overview about the topic.
  • For sites that are overcrowded content, place drop down panels on the top preferably on the right hand side. Use striking images which act as link hovers. You can also put numbered links at the bottom of the page for easy navigation.

To sum it up
Always remember the two golden rules of website navigation – keep it simple and consistent. No matter from which link the users start navigating your website they must easily glide through the web pages. Most importantly, sites must include creative navigation for better user engagement and interaction. Do not be vague, but strive to communicate your ideas effectively to your users by guiding them through your website.


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