Website & App Navigation Design Best Practices

Website navigation design is the most important aspect of website design. If visitors are unable to discover what to do once they arrive on your site, they will depart and search for a more user-friendly option. In contrast, if consumers have a clear, well-defined navigation that aids in the discovery of what they desire and need, they are more likely to interact with a website longer and even return at a later time.

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The layout and labels of your navigation may have a significant influence on the results. In this post, web design Singapore team will go over several typical navigation patterns for websites and give useful advice on how to create effective navigation.

Types of web navigation

Top menu

The menu at the top of the page is commonly what people think of when they think about website navigation. This sort of navigation is aligned with our natural tendency to scan web pages from left to right, from top to bottom, thus creating a great UX for your e commerce site or local business website. This style of navigation works well for global search features such as category categorization.

Drop-down menus and sticky navigation are two of the most popular menu design approaches, according to a study by Unbounce. Progressive disclosure is a method of gradually revealing additional options on demand, utilizing a notion of progressive disclosure, it shows just a little number of choices initially before disclosing more (when a user hovers the cursor over the top-level navigation menu).


Web design Singapore team state that the sidebar is a navigation pattern that supports the top navigation. The primary content is generally positioned to the left or right of the sidebar. When a user reaches the top-level category, they encounter a sidebar with subcategories. Sidebar can be an excellent option for websites that are information-heavy.

It may contain subcategories or provide filtering options, allowing users to discover the content that is more relevant to their needs.


Large websites frequently use the footer navigation pattern. Footers are often linked to the main pages of a website. The fundamental concept behind this design is to reduce the interaction cost, or how many steps it takes to utilize the product.

Web design Singapore team state that visitors may quickly reach other sections of the site by pressing one button/tapping at the conclusion of each page. Footer is ideal for sites with a lot of information, such as news networks and eCommerce sites.


Web design Singapore experts state that breadcrumbs are hierarchical navigation links that appear at the top of a website’s page. Breadcrumbs are a standard feature on eCommerce websites and large content hubs. They inform you how far down the hierarchy your current page is nested in other pages.

What’s the difference between a sitemap and navigation?

A sitemap is often mistaken for website navigation, despite the fact that it’s not. It’s critical to distinguish between navigation and a sitemap. A sitemap displays the pages included in your website. The most important function of a sitemap is to categorize the information on each page. “What pages do I have on this site?” “What do I have on this page?” A sitemap can help answer these questions.

Web design Miami team explains that sitemaps typically work alongside navigation systems, they allow the user to quickly move from one section of a site to another, or just to know what pages exist in a website.

Essential design tips for creating great web navigation

Web design Miami team believe that it’s crucial to recognize that constructing navigation does not happen until after you’ve developed a solid information architecture (IA). The IA will provide a strong basis for your navigation system, and the only thing you have to worry about is making it more accessible.

The following are some navigation-building suggestions by Web design Miami team that are particularly focused on creating recognizable and predictable pathways. As a result, they may also be used for web and app navigation. We suggest reading on the top 10 after effects plugin for UI designers. 

Don’t hide the navigation

Designers should always show the most vital elements of a website in prominent places. This rule applies to both content and navigation choices. Some designers utilize patterns like the hamburger menu, which hides navigation by default but makes it available on demand, to save space.

Because some visitors will not click/tap on the burger icon to reveal options, it’s important to make sure they are available elsewhere.

Put navigation in places where users expect to see it

We create a sitemap to reflect user expectations about the material. We distribute both the pages and the information on each page, and we establish an alignment with user expectations.

The same guidelines apply to other design choices, such as putting particular components on the page, like the menu. Users should be able to anticipate a location where they can find navigation. Put navigation in areas where people will look for it – the page’s header, sidebar, and footer.

Visually separate navigation from content

Web design Miami veterans state that a navigation section should not be considered part of the rest of the content on the page. It should stand out. Use whitespace (negative space) and great google fonts to distinguish between content and navigation choices both visually and functionally.

Avoid styling navigation options as buttons

Banners, buttons, and other types of navigation can be used on a website. This might add more visual noise to the page while also making it look heavy. Only utilize buttons for calls to action CTA (Download, Sign Up, Vote, etc.) if you must (but not always). However, by doing so, you will make this option stand while using chrome extensions when designing. 

Write descriptive labels

Web design Miami team state that it is critical that your website’s navigation be predictable. Before interacting with it, the user should be able to anticipate the significance of each option. Descriptive labels in your navigation are beneficial to site visitors since they provide meaning right away. Descriptive tags also aid search engines understand what your website is all about.

Instead of labels like “Articles” or “Videos,” try keywords that are more specific. Such identifiers aren’t precise since they indicate the format of the material but not its theme. People go to websites in order to obtain answers to their inquiries, and they are rarely interested in the format in which the information will be provided to them. As an example, consider “Latest Articles” or “New Videos.”

Mind the order

The order in which things are arranged is also crucial. When designing website navigation, you might want to sort your choices based on importance, start with the most important option and work your way down. While this is a good technique, it’s also important to consider the Serial-position effect. According To This Effect, items at the start and end of a list are more likely to be remembered.

If you’re creating website navigation for a product, you might want to display a link to the product details page first, followed by “Contact us” or “Purchase.”

Add search to simplify web navigation

Search can be a shortcut since visitors may discover what they’re looking for without needing to sift through categories. At the same time, search cannot act as a substitute for a menu in terms of usefulness.

Visitors that use search are clear about exactly what they want. As a result, it’s more about getting information quickly than it is about seeking out alternative options, which is what navigation provides.

Don’t optimize web navigation design only for the homepage

The misconception that the homepage is the first page visited by visitors on their journey is a typical blunder made by product designers.

Many people may not start their visit to a website at the homepage, since they arrive through search engine results or links from social media and other websites. As a result, you must pay attention to site navigation and make sure it works well on all pages.

Web design Miami team explain that to make it happen, you must first determine your target audience and create a navigation structure that is congruent with their expectations. Also, evaluate the most popular areas of your website using tools like Google Analytics to ensure that navigation design on those pages is easy to follow.

Test your website navigation design on mobile

3.7 billion individuals use mobile devices to access the internet. You’re in big trouble if your website navigation isn’t working on a mobile device.

Check to see whether your website’s navigation is fully mobile-friendly, and having a great UX and UI

  • Navigation labels should be legible on a mobile device. In most situations, 16px (CSS pixels) is a good starting point for font size.
  • Navigation options should be large enough to be readily tapped on. A touch target of approximately 9mm in physical size is ideal for most groups of users.
  • Using great page builders that make the mobile and tablet responsiveness work better. 

Analyze how people use your navigation system

After you’ve made the updates to your website, don’t forget to check if the visitors can find their way around with your menu. As a result, it’s important to see whether they can successfully use your menu.

Web design Singapore team reasons that that’s why you should spend time researching how people navigate on your website using tools such as Analytics. You may utilize tree testing to see how people flows through the website.


Every website’s top goal should be to assist users in finding what they’re looking for. Every website’s navigation should work for both humans and search engine robots, read up on quick tips to make you a better web designer. 

The navigation you develop should feel like an unseen hand guiding visitors along their path. Learn more about how to improve your website with tools like sitemaps and card sorting.

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