Menus are an integral part of every site that allows users to find the content they need. Here are some tips and best practices to make navigation on your site a breeze!
Why does good navigation matter?
If site visitors can’t figure out where to find what they’re looking for or what to do when they land on your page, it will lower the quality and efficiency of your users’ experience overall. This is why it is really important to make clear and accurate menu labels that help guide your users to the content that they need.
There are two main types of navigation menus in the WMS, the menu located at the top of the page, as well as side menus that allow you to navigate deeper within a page.
Do your research
If you aren’t sure about how to label certain menu items, it’s always a good idea to do some benchmarking by comparing similar sites from different universities. Here are a few examples of institutions to use as reference for benchmarking:
Some commonly used menu names on McGill sites are as follows:
- Home (Automatically added to every WMS site as a small house icon)
- Articles (If articles are enabled on your site)
- Contact Us
Some other best practices for menu labels (from the U.S. Web Design System site):
- Use short, clear link labels. Don’t use jargon or unfamiliar terms.
- Present links in priority order. Higher demand links should appear farther to the left, and lower-demand links should appear farther to the right.
Always research your navigation. Conduct research with your users and base decisions about your site’s information architecture and navigation structure on your findings. Continue researching to confirm that updates meet your users’ needs. To learn how to conduct user research and follow user based design methodology, register for the Web Services’ UX at McGill course.