When we talk about user experience or UX, what will first come to your mind? A lot of people when we asked they all agreed that web navigation was one of the most importance aspects. In short, you can understand web navigation as the tool to locate helpful information, explore a brand’s story, and make purchasing decisions. From the point of view of long-year UX designer, I will list some of the latest trends in how Magento 2 extensions optimize web navigation.
- Consistency is King
The inconsistency will lead users to confusion, so here are some aspects will make sure consistency for your web navigation
- Menu appears on every page of website. What does it mean? I mean that you never make your customers get lost in a strange page with no way out. If menu options have multiple levels, leave breadcrumbs so visitors can see the hierarchy of where they are on the site.
- Each menu item reacts in the same way: it means that if the Products tab drops down into a list of different choices, so should the other tabs.
- Every element should be intuitive. Create elements that help users know what to expect from navigation, and keep them the same throughout your site.
You can refer the case of Cmsmart marketpace on how they optimize the path of hierarchy menu.
- Easy-to-find search bar
Other thing that will affect UX on your site is search bar that usually sticks to a magnifying glass. Never hide it away or in worse case, leave it out. Let’s see how the giant like Youtube deals with search bar, always on the outstanding place and be highlighted. Most users will look to the top right-hand corner for the search option, or at least somewhere that are placed closest to the menu.
Don’t forget optimize search function for search bar with Magento 2 ajax search autocomplete and suggestion extension
- Mega menu
Mega menu is another trend of sweeping navigation design. As its name, you might know that this menu is plus-sized, taking up the page vertically and horizontally. This kind of menu is so popular in the websites designed for magazine-style blogs but now it is widely preferred by brands desiring to make a statement with their menus. Instead of confusing users with a dozen drop-downs, expand the menu across half the page and layout the options clearly, using images and thumbnails if desired.
You can refer Magento 2 Mega menu extension from Netbase team
- Fixed Navigation Bars
What is fixed navigation bar? Facebook, it is the most typical example, you can scroll infinitely, constantly uploading new information every time the user reaches the bottom of the page. It appears most common as a top navigation bar. When you surf your newsfeeds, you still can check some invitations, notifications or message without going to other page, they are always on the top of screen. The infinite scroll style website became popular thanks to social media and mobile sites.
Web navigation will affect a lot on the experience customers can achieve on your page: positive or negative. So don’t forget to consider updating your website to include some of the newest site navigation best practices.