The structure of your website: What NOT to do
Our previous blog post provided useful tips on the structure of your website. Here we offer a glance at a few structure and navigation options which are up for improvement.
“I have an extensive printed catalogue and want my website to use the same structure.”
This would seem to be the logical option, but with an extensive webshop, a structure with more than 3 layers cannot always be avoided. Nevertheless, use summary pages to help visitors easily find what they are looking for. Or provide extensive search options, allowing searches based on characteristics, which is a great way to quickly find specific products.
“I want flashy navigation buttons – with cool symbols, that change when a cursor moves near them, and when they are clicked.”
Sadly there are few practical symbols that are understood by everyone. If you want to point out where specific links will lead you, opt for one word or a short text. This also applies to navigation and other links. In addition, the relevance will increase for search engines, if the link text connects into the target page text. This will improve your website’s position in search results.
“For people who visit my homepage, I’d like a breathtaking Flash animation and/or company video!”
Flash-animations have largely disappeared from the internet and likely the browsers used to access your website no longer support such animations. Clearly this is not such an impressive point of entry. A company video can be a good idea, it offers the advantage to show exactly what you want the visitor to see. But try to avoid using a video that start automatically, if visitors to your site have to sit through the entire thing every time they frequent your page, chances are their patience will soon run out. At least provide a ‘Skip intro’ button and make your homepage accessible without the intro when bookmarks or favourites are used. Also, the extra click for switching off or skipping animations or videos, stands to jeopardise the ” three clicks” rule.
Next blog post: the layout of your website: recognisable and familiar