UI/UX Tip 19: Don’t Forget UX of Navigation & URLs

27 Apr. 22
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To create compelling experiences, great UI/UX design must pay attention to both the macro and micro details.

A common oversight is the role URL’s and navigation can play in guiding users, telling stories, and adding more meaning to support everything else on the page.

 

Navigation Can Be Used to Start a Story

 

Good UX starts with information hierarchy. Your navigation determines the direction of interaction, usability, and story with your app or website. It is possible to make significant improvements in usability by including only the most important pages or actions in the main navigation. Consider navigation the beginning of your story.

Take a look at your target users, the top user stories, as well as your most important calls to action, in order to fine tune your navigation. Your biggest user stories will help you create a navigation plan and ensure that the most important pages are where users expect them to be. Good UI starts with simple, clear navigation.

 

URLs can also give direction, location, and meaning

 

URLs can be used as a navigation tool by users and search engines. However, this important detail is often overlooked during the planning phase.

Users can easily understand URLs and clarify where they are. Experts, and Google agree that shorter URLs work better.

Search engines are becoming more sophisticated and better at understanding natural language and thought processes. They should therefore be considered users.

Dr. Pete, a Marketing Scientist at Seattle-based MOZ states that meaningful URLs with keywords are generally better for search engines and visitors in his 25 point Website Usability Checklist. It doesn’t take a whole site to be re-engineered to create new URLs. However, you should do your best to make them friendly and descriptive.

This URL summarizes the page’s content for users.

https://www.legalzoom.com/personal/estate-planning/living-will-overview.html

It doesn’t work like that:

https://online.citi.com/US/JRS/pands/detail.do?ID=CitiBizEverydayBanking&JFP_TOKEN=WR63CYPN

While URLs and navigation are important areas to be aware of, they also play a significant role in helping users navigate and reinforce their story and objectives. It is crucial to remember the UX of URLs and navigation when building experiences.

 

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