Are you more likely to walk through a well-lit, beautiful archway that shows the well-kept room beyond it, or an opaque, rusty door that leaves you wondering whether you’re heading into a cozy shop or a sketchy back alley? It’s an easy question to answer.
Your website menu is the entryway to your website. It’s easy to ignore it in favor of other website elements, but think of it this way: It doesn’t matter how beautiful the room behind that rusted, unappealing door is—Your customer can’t see what’s behind it at a glance. As a result, most people aren’t going to want to walk through.
Modern consumers are notoriously impatient and will only give your website a few micro-moments before they bounce to a competitor. A confusing navigation structure will frustrate your potential customers quickly – and no one wants that!
Kissmetrics reports that website navigation has a bigger impact on usability and user experience than almost any other factor in your website design. The more usable and welcoming your website is, the more likely a visitor is to stay. And the only visitors who convert are the ones who stick around..
This post will cover the basics of website menu design. We’ll show you some stunning examples of website menu designs you can use for inspiration, then cover the six best practices of website navigation menu design
Before we get into our examples of stunning website menu designs, let’s first answer a foundational question: What is website menu design? Your website menu comprises a series of links that allow a visitor to easily traverse your website.
The design of your website navigation menu consists of the links you choose to include in your navigation, the way you present them, and the way in which those links are organized and structured in the menu.
Ideally, your website menu will give your site visitors a window into the rest of your website content, allowing them to navigate to the pages they’re looking for (and the pages they’re most likely to convert on) with ease.
Website navigation menu design is the difference between a bounce and a conversion.
Consider the last time you went to a website without converting on any offers. What was the reason you bounced back to the Google results page, selecting another link in place of the page you’d originally visited? For most people, it’s because they weren’t able to find what they were looking for on the first site.
One of the top reasons for a high bounce rate on a website is a poor user experience. As we mentioned previously: Website visitors aren’t known for their patience. If your site can’t answer their question quickly and easily, they will leave your site in favor of a site that can.
Let’s take a look at some examples of website menu designs that work. We’ll discuss why they’re effective and what you can apply from these designs to your own website navigation menu.