A major factor of website usability is navigation. If user’s can’t find something on your site they’ll go somewhere else. But Forbes points out that giving visitors too many options can be equally bad. Frank Lockwood, Associate Creative Director of gryo, wrote that companies should identify both their business objectives and a customer’s objectives when dealing with a website. He recommends grouping content together in ways that make it easy for visitors to find – this practice has the added bonus of limiting the number of choices, which keeps visitors from becoming overwhelmed, confused and frustrated. In Forbes, Lockwood outlines three guidelines when it comes to website navigation:
- Observe the rule of plus or minus seven. Visitors can handle only so many options before they become overwhelmed. In general, the number of options an average human can process is seven, so try to keep categories at this size. If you find that the choices are becoming too plentiful, create subcategories and feed content into them to aid visitors.
- Most of your visitors come from a search engine first, and it is highly likely they will not land on your home page. Therefore, your categories must make sense if a visitor is on the “Home” page versus the “Risks of Bears in the Office” page.
- Finally, keep in mind that you’re (hopefully) still a growing business. You need to have locations for all future content and to give visitors answers to their most common questions. That means to be sure categories are ready to scale for future business growth.
See more of Lockwood’s recommendations at Forbes >>>
When it comes to website usability, there are a lot of things to consider. Usability testing, headed by a UX expert, will help you ensure you don’t miss a key issue.