Mastering the Art of Navigation Design

June 16, 2023
David Sunnyside

Mastering the Art of Navigation Design Creating Intuitive User Journeys

Collectively, Apple and Android’s app stores are home to over 5.5 million apps. And every one of them needs navigation design built right in.

Unintuitive navigation can lead to frustration and abandonment of a product. Poor navigation can also negatively impact SEO. Fortunately, navigation can be designed to promote user-centered experiences.

Create a User Journey Map

User journey maps are a useful tool for understanding your customer’s experience with your product. These can be used as a foundation for creating a more consumer-centric web experience, and there are many ways to approach the creation of one. You can use sticky notes on a whiteboard or go digital with a UX software program.

The process of creating a user journey map starts with developing a persona and identifying their goals. Next, identify the high-level phases of the journey and how their actions and mindset change as they move through each phase. For example, John may feel excited when he first begins researching his new car but might have doubts during the test drive phase.

This mapping type is usually based on existing research, such as surveys and interviews with customers. However, you can also create a future state journey map that illustrates the ideal user experience and uncovers opportunities for improvement. This type of journey map allows you to be more creative because it is not constrained by the existing product or user experience.

Analyze Your User’s Needs

The navigation structure of a website describes how different pages and content are organized and connected to one another. Designers and web developers often plan a navigational structure when creating a website. However, this may not always be in the best interest of the user experience. In fact, a recent study found that only 50% of internet users were able to predict where they would find relevant content using standard website navigation structures.

This is a major problem and it can lead to higher bounce rates, lower time on site, and less conversions. To improve the user experience and reduce these problems, it’s important to understand your user’s needs.

One way to do this is through qualitative user research, such as interviews and focus groups. This will help you determine what your users are looking for and what their goals are. You can then use this information to create a user journey map that will meet their needs.

Organize Content in a Logicual Way

Intuitive navigation is essential for users’ experience with a website or app. If they can’t find what they’re looking for or get lost in the interface, they may leave it altogether and seek out alternatives. This can lead to a loss of business and revenue and create a negative reputation for the site or app.

Organizing content in a logical way requires learning to classify concepts in order of usefulness. This is why so many learners use an alphabetical order when they write essays and other documents – it’s conventional, intuitive and easy to understand.

A well-organized website will also show the user where they are in the interface and how they got there, for example with breadcrumbs or a “Back to Top” link. It will use clear and descriptive labels, a consistent design and responsiveness on all devices. This will help to meet the users’ needs and goals. It will also reduce confusion and frustration, as users won’t be unsure about what is expected of them.

Keep It Simple

If you want to create an intuitive user journey, it is important to keep navigation simple. This means using clear and consistent labels, organizing content in a logical way, and providing users with visual design elements to guide them through the interface.

It’s also important to avoid unnecessary features, such as dropdown menus. These can be distracting and cause confusion for users. Instead, consider using a hamburger menu or other types of expandable categories that will make it easier for users to find the information they need.

Intuitive navigation is a vital part of any website or app, and it can have a significant impact on the overall user experience. By following best practices, understanding your users’ needs, and keeping it simple, you can create an intuitive user journey that will drive engagement and conversions for your product.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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