Website developers could talk for days about what the best and worst practices of website design are. Some cite the need for popping colors and vibrancy, while others are sticklers for SEO-friendly copy. Often overlooked, but still important is the navigability of a site. But, how important is navigability for keeping site visitors?
How Important is Navigability?
An easily navigable website is one of the most important factors in keeping the attention of site visitors, at least according to 94% of people. Toolbars and menus should be responsive, and the site should easily set out a journey for potential customers or clients. For industries that may need to explain technical ideas, the explanations should be easy to find and comprehend.
Even online shopping sites should make clear the payment and delivery details, or at least provide a signpost to them. On-site searches should also be intuitive, especially for cases where customers may not know the specific names of things that they might want to buy; such as tools or DIY goods.
Navigability in Competitive Markets
This is especially true of industries that need to make a good first impression. These businesses are in industries where the consumer wants to engage but may not have a go-to site yet. For example, travel operators usually gain website views because the viewer intends on booking a vacation.
If the site is hard to search with, if you can’t easily remove impractical airports from a search, for instance, the potential customer will move onto the next one. In those early stages, being user-friendly is key to keeping audiences interested while they then discover more about a business.
Another example of customers wanting to engage by searching for a site they like is the online casino industry. Studying the layout of a site offering UK casino games online, it is clear that a good first impression is equally as important as our travel site example. By outlining the slot games available and grouping them by the developer, newcomers can easily navigate through and filter slot games until they find what they’re looking for.
Navigability is vitally important, for not only attracting customers from competitor sites but retaining them as it helps keep potential customers interested while they’re still learning about your business.
The Importance of Mobile Optimized Navigability
The mobile experience is just as important as the desktop experience. 57% of internet users suggested that they would leave a mobile site if it wasn’t adequately optimized. If a site is difficult to navigate, the customer could end up leaving with negative opinions about the brand or business.
85% of users think a mobile site should match the desktop site’s ease of use. Local newspaper sites are infamous for being hard to navigate, especially on mobile, due to the vast amount of banner ads, auto-playing videos, and difficulty in scrolling to the content.
It takes 50 milliseconds for potential customers to decide if they are going to bounce from a site or not. Having a website that is easy to navigate can help prevent this bouncing. After all, they are looking at you because they are interested, so you should do everything you can to ensure they aren’t turned off immediately. Navigability may not be the most alluring aspect of web design, but it is increasingly proving to be the most important.