Once you have received visitors to your site, it is important that they find what they are looking for. They may not come directly to the page they are looking for or they are curious and want to know more about what you and your company are working with.
In order for your visitors to easily find on your site, it is important to have a simple, clear and efficient menu structure. But what do you need to think about when building their menu?
Number of categories
The number of categories in your menu depends entirely on what kind of content you have and how much. For smaller or very focused websites, there are often a few categories in the menu. However, larger sites with a broader range often require more categories and maybe even more menus to give visitors a better overview.
This is an example of a company with a focused product range. They do not need more than five main categories in their menu to showcase their range and make it easy for the visitor to find what they are looking for.
Elgiganten, on the other hand, is a company that offers a much larger range of electronic products, where there are not a few categories, but instead they need to work with many more main categories but also many subcategories to make it easy for their visitors to find the products they are interested in. of.
In addition, they have menus in several places to distinguish products from other types of information such as customer service and customer portal.
Do not make the mistake of categorizing your site by department and how you work, instead categorize your products and services according to how your potential customers use them.
The order of the categories
Once you decide which categories are relevant to your business, it's time to fix them, but should you do it alphabetically or in any other order? It is obviously due to many different factors: what other sorting schemes feel relevant, the extent to which visitors know the category name and how many categories you have.
Arrange for use and expectation
Usually there is a different order that is more relevant than alphabetical order, such as how often visitors use different menu options. By adding the most used menu choices to the far left, your visitors will not have to read through the entire menu bar before they find what they are looking for.
Also, some choices are often expected to be on the far right, such as About Us or Contact. If it's somewhere where it pays to be predictable, it's on your site! Add menus and menu choices where your visitors usually expect to find them so they do not get much frustration and exploration.
But in many cases it is also very effective to sort alphabetically, for example, when your visitors know exactly what the category is called and scans your page for that particular word. For example, when your categories consist of trademarks or product names.
An alphabetical order makes it easier to find, but of course, it requires that your visitors are familiar with your terminology.
Alphabetizing the menu on your website can also facilitate navigation if you have many categories. Then your visitors do not need to read through the entire list to find what they are looking for. But it only works if you use standardized phrases as category titles and your visitors are familiar with them.
If not, the visitor still needs to read through the entire list and then alphabetization will not necessarily help.
In some cases, it may be useful to use a mixed sorting, that is, some above with the most important and most used categories and then some below with all categories. Then you often get a good effect where the most common categories do not disappear in the crowd while all the others are easily found.
Functionality and styling
A fixed menu, or sticky menu, hangs with and when you scroll to a webpage. It sits on top of the screen and will not disappear when you get further down the page. This is a great way to help your visitors quickly find what they are looking for. They do not need to scroll all the way to change the category if the content is very long, for example, on an e-commerce.
According to Clicktale , visitors generally prefer a fixed menu, but they work best on sites aimed at making the visitor some form of action, such as a purchase, a quote or the like. A fixed menu can on this type of website help reduce the rejection rate and increase conversions. This means Clicktale is because a fixed menu gives users a sense of control as they constantly see the menu, thus easily searching for, and easily reaching conversion points.
Expandable menus, or so-called drop-downs, show more subcategories at click or when visitors hover over the options. These often provide a quick and easy overview for the visitor to your site. However, menus that are only displayed when hovering is a problem for mobile users.
Therefore, it's important that the mobile version makes a simpler click-through variant of the menu so that these visitors can also find what they're looking for. This is especially important when the mobile phone is now more common than desktop and continues to increase steadily.
An expandable menu often makes it easy to show more categories without taking up too much space. But it can be difficult to use when they have very many options or when there are multiple-level subcategories. Then it becomes often difficult to see and sometimes even impossible to click on different options. Keep them as simple and clean as possible for ease of use.
A megameny is another type of expandable menu with many choices in a two-dimensional design. Megamenyer gives an overview of all menu choices without the need to scroll. The different categories are also grouped visually using, for example, layout, typography or icons. The menu can open either by hovering or clicking.
A well-known example of a megameny can be found at IKEA. Here the menu items are clearly grouped and separated by subheadings. They have clarified their "Start Here" page with an image link which makes it pop. In a separate gray field on the right there are other links that do not go directly to products but are relevant to the main category.
The Hamburg menu is a popular menu option for mobile phones, but we also see it more often on desktop versions. But in a study by Nielsen Norman Group , it appeared that hidden menus, like a hamburgers menu, are harder to detect for users and fewer are likely to use the menu. If they use the menu, it also makes it later during the visit compared to visible menus, such as top links.
The study also showed that hidden menus adversely affected user-friendliness on both the mobile and desktop, although there was a clearer negative effect on desktop. They explain that a small icon is more difficult to find on a larger screen. They recommend avoiding Hamburgers menu on desktop and only using it on mobile if there are more than four categories.
Many larger companies have removed their hamburgers menu, such as Facebook, YouTube and Spotify. The location shortage on the mobile phone is a big problem and there are many creative and user-friendly solutions to this, many of whom Levi Kovacs presents in an article on the UXplanet . Some popular solutions are the bottom menu with a "more" button for more than four menu options, as well as tabs at the top of the page that can sometimes be scrolled for more options.