This is part three in a series entitled, Sneak Peek at a Small Business Redesign Process. Part One featured a Sneak Peek behind a Logo Redesign and Part Two was on a Sneak Peek behind Responsive Design, including an infographic on Responsive Design.
After redesigning the 2nd Look Boutique’s logo and moving towards a responsive design, the next step was to reorganize the website’s sitemap (list of all pages available to the visitor) and navigation (presentation of sitemap to the visitor which they use to navigate from page to page). The old website had 79 pages (!!), although not all were active… most were. Nevertheless, it was clear that some simplification and reorganization would be needed. Here are some questions that you could ask yourself as you assess your own website and whether you need to make some navigation changes…
1. Is it easy for the visitor to get to the information that they need?
Whether you post your sitemap (list of pages) on the site or not, your menu should be simple and your content should be easy to find. We simplified the 2nd Look’s menu by creating a drop-down hierarchy for some pages and by combining some pages (like contact, shop directions, and shop hours, which were combined on “Contact” and also included in the main page footer).
2. Is the navigation consistent from page to page?
The menu should be available on every page and the visitor should be aware on what page they are on. We incorporated banners into the design as headers for different pages to fulfill this purpose and grab the visitor’s attention.
3. Is the visitor compelled to explore the website or do they stop on the front page?
If you use WordPress jetpack stats for your website, you can see how often people visit different pages on your site.
We were pleased that half of the 105 visitors went farther to explore the About Us page. If a small percentage of your visitors are venturing past the main page, you may want to consider designing navigation icons like those that we used to help our audience visualize the content (images and graphics lead to higher click and conversion rates whether you are posting on social media or on your website!)… these days you can expect your audience to scan quickly and leave fast if there are not interesting images and buttons that funnel them deeper into your site.
Tip: If your small business’s website navigation needs some help, consider 1. creating a drop-down hierachy, 2. combining some pages, 3. incorporating header banners, and 4. using custom graphic icons (or even using generic, well-designed icons) to label each page in a grid display.
If you need help doing this or need someone to review your website and make suggestions that will help your audience engage longer with your website’s content, contact me for a free consultation.