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Top Navigation Menu Design Tips for a Better User Experience

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Reading Time: 5 minutes


A good user experience is essential for any website. Your users should be able to easily find the information they need on your site, whether that’s something like an email address or a phone number, an item in your catalog, or a blog post about your latest product launch. In order to make sure that users can find what they’re looking for and have a smooth experience when browsing through your content, you’ll need to include the right kind of navigation menu(s). There are many different types of navigation menus available and each one serves a different purpose; some examples include:

  • Drop-down menus
  • Fixed position navigation menu
  • Responsive (mobile-friendly) navigation menu

Add hamburger menu buttons

The hamburger menu is a navigation icon that can be placed on the top left or right side of your website. It allows users to access the main navigation from within any section of a web page, without having to scroll to the top of the screen.

This design choice is particularly useful when you have a lot of content (for example, on an e-commerce product page) or if you have long scrolling pages that contain multiple sections with different categories and subcategories (like articles in a blog).

Drop-down menus

A well-designed drop-down menu is an excellent way of organizing your navigation and keeping it clean. If you are using a drop-down menu, make sure that it has enough space between the first level items and the sub-menus. This will help users find what they need quickly without having to scroll through too many options at once.

Also, add some animation effects to the links in your dropdowns so that they stand out more visually on the page. You can also use icons instead of text for certain buttons so that they don’t get too cluttered with labels when there are many different options available in each level of navigation (e.g., “categories” vs “News & Updates”).

Fixed position navigation menu

Fixed position navigation menu is always visible on the screen. It’s always in the same location, which makes it easy to use and understand.

Fixed position navigation menus are good for keeping users focused on their tasks, but they can feel static if they don’t change from time to time. If you want your fixed-position navigation menu to be more dynamic, try adding icons or pictures that help users navigate your website better.

Responsive (mobile- and tablet-friendly) navigation menu

Your navigation menu should be responsive. This means that it looks equally good on mobile devices as it does on a desktop computer. It’s important to have a responsive navigation menu because things like font sizes, text spacing and more can easily look awkward in a non-responsive design.

Footer navigation is a good place to put less important links. It can be used to include legal information, contact details and other links that are not essential to the main content of your website.

Search bar placement at the top of your website

You should put your search bar at the top of your page.

There are many benefits to this placement, which we’ll cover in a moment. But first: why would you place it anywhere else?

Account/profile icon or avatar

The account/profile icon or avatar is a small image that represents a user on a website. It’s typically used to show the user’s name, email address and other personal information.

When you see one in a menu, it means you can click it to sign out of your account or view your profile. If no icons or avatars appear in your top navigation menu, add them by uploading an image file for each option (e.g., “Sign out,” “View profile”). Include descriptive text along side each icon so users have an idea what they’ll see when they click on it (e.g., “View profile”).

“Cart” icon for ecommerce websites

When you’re designing your top navigation menu, consider adding a “Cart” link. This makes it easier for your users to see their total order and check out faster. If you don’t have a shopping cart in your site, then consider adding one!

Breadcrumb navigation

Breadcrumb navigation is a navigation system that gives users an overview of the pages they have visited. It’s usually located at the top of your website and allows users to easily navigate back to their previous page or all the way back to their home page. Breadcrumbs are normally represented by text, but can also be represented visually through images or icons. They will look something like this: Home > Blog > Writing Tips > The Benefits of Using Headings Early On in Your Writing Process.

The benefit of using breadcrumbs is that they allow users who don’t know your website very well (or at all) to easily find their way around, even if they have never been to your site before and don’t know where specific pages live on it. Breadcrumbs help people orient themselves within a site’s structure by providing them with an overview of where they currently are in relation to other pages on the site’s hierarchy

Filter by category navigation menu item

  • Filter by category navigation menu item is a good way to help users find the content they are looking for on your website.
  • The filter by category navigation menu item works especially well if you have a lot of different categories or types of content to offer, such as books, movies, and music.

Sort by price, popularity, date, etc. navigation menu item for ecommerce websites

Sort by price, popularity, date, etc. navigation menu item for ecommerce websites

You should have a clear plan about how your navigation system is going to work before you begin designing it. The first step here is deciding what sort of information you want to be able to display on each page and then sorting them accordingly. This will allow users to easily find what they are looking for on every page.

Include social media icons if your audience is on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. and you have an active presence there.

Social media icons are a great way to connect with your audience and keep them engaged. If you have an active presence on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and others (and you should), then you will want to include them in your top navigation menu.

Design appropriate navigation menus in order to improve the user experience of your website.

Navigation menus, or nav bars, are an essential part of any website. They help visitors find their way around your site, provide quick access to important pages and enable them to quickly leave a page if they don’t find what they were looking for.

However, there are many different types of navigation menu designs available on the web today—and not all of them are created equal. In fact, some can actually harm your user experience (UX) and SEO! So if you really want to improve the UX of your website or even increase its rankings in search engines like Google and Bing, then it’s vital that you pick the right navigation menu design for your website.


In the end, it’s all about the user experience. This is why navigation menus are so important. They help visitors navigate through your website, which ultimately leads them to make a decision on whether or not they want to stay there longer and explore more of what it has to offer (or not). So next time you’re thinking about redesigning one of these crucial areas on your site, remember these tips!

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