Site architecture.  Its a touchy subject to some, but it really does need to be thought about before completing your website.  Designing the way a site navigates the wrong way can put your users in a maze that they can’s find their way out of.  Here are some tips to help you on your way.

Always Give Them a Way Out

On every single page of your website there should be a link to the home page.  A user should never be able to find their way home.  Think of it like Hansel and Gretel with the bread crumbs.  The link can be as simple as having a HOME button on all pages, or you can also (like many websites these days) just make the logo of your company the actual home button.

Three Clicks to Pay Day

I always say that a user really should not have to click more than three times to find (or at least be really close to finding) what they are looking for when on your site.  Be thoughtful and intentional in your choice of words on the navigation bar.  Avoid being vague and overly general.  Get people where they want to be, when they want to be there and they will be happy.  Happy customers are good customers.

Avoid Sending them Elsewhere

Let’s face it…the goal of being on the internet is getting people to come to your website.  Plain and simple.  Time after time I see websites that have pages to recommended links that take the user away from your site.  This is a No-No in my opinion.  When you have a user on your site, you need to do whatever it takes to keep them there.  Bring the information that you want to share onto your site.  Rework the content so that it fits your business and so that you keep the user on your site instead of driving them somewhere else.  If it is absolutely necessary to take them to a different site, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE make sure that you have the link open in a new tab or window so that your site is still in their browser.