Navigation Articles & Videos

  • Local Navigation Is a Valuable Orientation and Wayfinding Aid

    Local navigation indicates to users where they are and what other content is nearby in an information hierarchy.

  • Left-Side Vertical Navigation on Desktop: Scalable, Responsive, and Easy to Scan

    Vertical navigation is a good fit for broad or growing IAs, but takes up more space than horizontal navigation. Ensure that it is left-aligned, keyword front-loaded, and visible.

  • Sticky Headers: 5 Ways to Make Them Better

    Persistent headers can be useful to users if they are unobtrusive, high-contrast, minimally animated, and fit user needs.

  • Information Scent

    Information foraging explains how users behave on the web and why they click certain links and not others. Information scent can be used to analyze how people assess a link and the page context surrounding the link to judge what's on the other end of the link.

  • Spatial Memory: Why It Matters for UX Design

    With repeated practice, users develop imprecise memory of objects and content in a UI, but still need additional visual and textual signals to help them find a specific item.

  • Accordion Icons: Which Signifiers Work Best?

    The caret icon most clearly indicated to users that it would open an accordion in place, rather than linking directly to a new page.

  • Navigation Menus - 5 Tips to Make Them Visible

    If users don't notice a navigation menu, they won't use it, and website usage will plummet. Here are 5 design guidelines to increase the visibility of navigation menus.

  • Stop Counting Clicks: The 3 Click Rule is Nonsense

    Users want to do the least amount of work possible to get to a desired web page. However, "work" is the sum of difficulty presented by each click and not the number of clicks in itself. Here are some tips for making a path easier to navigate.

  • Search Box vs. Navigation

    Is it enough to have a search feature on a website? Or do users also benefit from a well-designed navigation interface? Depending on the nature of the site, the balance between the two can change.

  • Information Foraging: A Theory of How People Navigate on the Web

    To decide whether to visit a page, people take into account how much relevant information they are likely to find on that page relative to the effort involved in extracting that info.

  • Tree Testing to Evaluate Information Architecture Categories

    Tree testing is a supplement to card sorting as a user research method for assessing the categories in an information architecture (especially a website IA and its proposed or existing navigation menu structure).

  • Footers are Underrated

    There's a footer at the bottom of every web page, but the design of this utilitarian page element is often overlooked, making the website perform below its potential. In our usability studies, users often turn to page footers for important information and tasks, making them an integral part of the overall experience of a site.

  • The 3-Click Rule for Navigation Is False

    While it is important to keep key information easily accessible, the 3-click rule is an arbitrary rule of thumb that is not backed by data.

  • Store Finders: Why People Still Need Locator Links

    In addition to a site-wide store-locator link, location-finder links in key areas anticipate users’ needs and make it easy to find a physical location within the context of their task.

  • How Many Items in a Navigation Menu?

    A key question in information architecture (IA) is to decide the number of items in navigation menus (including global menus and local menus). 4 main factors determine the answer, but it's not 7, despite a common myth.

  • Better Link Labels: 4Ss for Encouraging Clicks

    Specific link text sets sincere expectations and fulfills them, and is substantial enough to stand alone while remaining succinct.

  • Footers 101: Design Patterns and When to Use Each

    Footers can be found at the bottom of almost every web page, and often take many forms, depending on the type of content on a website. Regardless of the form they take, their presence is critical (and highly underrated).

  • Breadcrumbs: 11 Design Guidelines for Desktop and Mobile

    Support wayfinding by including breadcrumbs that reflect the information hierarchy of your site. On mobile, avoid using breadcrumbs that are too tiny or wrap on multiple lines.

  • Why You Need a Home Link

    Websites which provide a "home" link on every page make it easy for new visitors and users who are lost to get oriented.

  • Open vs. Closed Card Sorting

    There are two types of card sorting, which measure different aspects of users' mental models for information architecture.

  • Information Scent

    Information foraging explains how users behave on the web and why they click certain links and not others. Information scent can be used to analyze how people assess a link and the page context surrounding the link to judge what's on the other end of the link.

  • Navigation Menus - 5 Tips to Make Them Visible

    If users don't notice a navigation menu, they won't use it, and website usage will plummet. Here are 5 design guidelines to increase the visibility of navigation menus.

  • Stop Counting Clicks: The 3 Click Rule is Nonsense

    Users want to do the least amount of work possible to get to a desired web page. However, "work" is the sum of difficulty presented by each click and not the number of clicks in itself. Here are some tips for making a path easier to navigate.

  • Search Box vs. Navigation

    Is it enough to have a search feature on a website? Or do users also benefit from a well-designed navigation interface? Depending on the nature of the site, the balance between the two can change.

  • Tree Testing to Evaluate Information Architecture Categories

    Tree testing is a supplement to card sorting as a user research method for assessing the categories in an information architecture (especially a website IA and its proposed or existing navigation menu structure).

  • Footers are Underrated

    There's a footer at the bottom of every web page, but the design of this utilitarian page element is often overlooked, making the website perform below its potential. In our usability studies, users often turn to page footers for important information and tasks, making them an integral part of the overall experience of a site.

  • How Many Items in a Navigation Menu?

    A key question in information architecture (IA) is to decide the number of items in navigation menus (including global menus and local menus). 4 main factors determine the answer, but it's not 7, despite a common myth.

  • Why You Need a Home Link

    Websites which provide a "home" link on every page make it easy for new visitors and users who are lost to get oriented.

  • Open vs. Closed Card Sorting

    There are two types of card sorting, which measure different aspects of users' mental models for information architecture.

  • Hick's Law: Designing Long Menu Lists

    Hick's Law (or the Hick–Hyman Law) says that the more choices you present to your users, the longer it takes them to reach a decision. However, combining Hick’s Law with other design techniques can make long menus easy to use.

  • Hamburger Menus Hurt UX Metrics

    Discoverability is cut almost in half by hiding a website’s main navigation. Also, task time is longer and perceived task difficulty increases.

  • Logo Placement Affects Web Navigation and Brand Recall

    Shifting your website's logo away from the top left corner impairs navigation efficiency, and may also reduce brand recall.

  • Local Navigation Is a Valuable Orientation and Wayfinding Aid

    Local navigation indicates to users where they are and what other content is nearby in an information hierarchy.

  • Left-Side Vertical Navigation on Desktop: Scalable, Responsive, and Easy to Scan

    Vertical navigation is a good fit for broad or growing IAs, but takes up more space than horizontal navigation. Ensure that it is left-aligned, keyword front-loaded, and visible.

  • Sticky Headers: 5 Ways to Make Them Better

    Persistent headers can be useful to users if they are unobtrusive, high-contrast, minimally animated, and fit user needs.

  • Spatial Memory: Why It Matters for UX Design

    With repeated practice, users develop imprecise memory of objects and content in a UI, but still need additional visual and textual signals to help them find a specific item.

  • Accordion Icons: Which Signifiers Work Best?

    The caret icon most clearly indicated to users that it would open an accordion in place, rather than linking directly to a new page.

  • Information Foraging: A Theory of How People Navigate on the Web

    To decide whether to visit a page, people take into account how much relevant information they are likely to find on that page relative to the effort involved in extracting that info.

  • The 3-Click Rule for Navigation Is False

    While it is important to keep key information easily accessible, the 3-click rule is an arbitrary rule of thumb that is not backed by data.

  • Store Finders: Why People Still Need Locator Links

    In addition to a site-wide store-locator link, location-finder links in key areas anticipate users’ needs and make it easy to find a physical location within the context of their task.

  • Better Link Labels: 4Ss for Encouraging Clicks

    Specific link text sets sincere expectations and fulfills them, and is substantial enough to stand alone while remaining succinct.

  • Footers 101: Design Patterns and When to Use Each

    Footers can be found at the bottom of almost every web page, and often take many forms, depending on the type of content on a website. Regardless of the form they take, their presence is critical (and highly underrated).

  • Breadcrumbs: 11 Design Guidelines for Desktop and Mobile

    Support wayfinding by including breadcrumbs that reflect the information hierarchy of your site. On mobile, avoid using breadcrumbs that are too tiny or wrap on multiple lines.

  • Defining Helpful Filter Categories and Values for Better UX

    For a useful faceted search, develop filter categories and filter values that are appropriate, predictable, free of jargon, and prioritized.

  • Polyhierarchies Improve Findability for Ambiguous IA Categories

    When an item fits in more than one category, your IA structure can include multiple parents for that item to avoid losing users.

  • Card Sorting: Uncover Users' Mental Models for Better Information Architecture

    Card sorting is a UX research technique in which users organize topics into groups. Use it to create an IA that suits your users' expectations.

  • Homepage Links Remain a Necessity

    A site logo linking to the homepage is not enough. Logo design and placement, as well as the presence of a text link to the homepage affect success of navigation to homepage.

  • Mobile Subnavigation

    Accordions, sequential menus, section menus and category landing pages are popular options for implementing mobile subnavigation.

  • Tree Testing Part 2: Interpreting the Results

    Analyze tree-testing results including success, first click, and directness to improve information architecture and navigation labels.

  • Don’t Use Split Buttons for Navigation Menus

    Menu on hover, category landing page on click: we discuss challenges and solutions for replicating this pattern on touchscreens.

  • Dropdowns: Design Guidelines

    Dropdown boxes and menus are overused and clunky but can be useful for revealing a list of options or commands.

  • Tree Testing: Fast, Iterative Evaluation of Menu Labels and Categories

    Follow these tips to effectively evaluate a site’s navigation hierarchy and to avoid common design mistakes.