Centralize the navigation.

May 13, 2004

When laying out the design of a website, it’s very important to keep the main navigation buttons in one place throughout the site. The best and most noticeable real estate on the page is the left and the top margins. These areas are always visible upon the first view of any page for all the common screen resolutions that people use today.

Surfers don’t want to get lost in the waves. A focal point that is consistent and intuitive will allow for simpler navigating and a natural flow of traffic from one page to the next.  People are discouraged when they find themselves drowning in a sea of information. Always provide an easy exit, allowing a fresh start from the home page.

Other important main navigation items include a way to contact the webmaster, and a link to a general description of the site.

These concepts will not only improve the usability of your website, but will encourage your audience to return.