Designing smart menus

The more choices you give your readers, the less you control the outcome of their visit to your site.

Map your relationship with your ideal customer: what steps will your user take to engage with you? Like you on Facebook? Ask a question? Come to an info session? Sign up for your program? These are the steps you want to include on your page as navigation options or buttons, to help your user easily move from romance to commitment.

In each stage of the relationship, what may your user need or wish to do? Make it easy to know what to click next. Step by step, move your user toward your goal. And make the experience successful and satisfying.

Ponder before you publish

  • Does the page title match the button/link clicked to get there?
  • Is the wording consistent with other pages, and consistent with the site navigation?
  • Are the options in the menu clearly defined? (Make sure there is no overlap between possible choices, as this will confuse your visitors)
  • Are menus or sets of links/options presented in meaningful ways? For example: by steps in a task, by date, alphabetically, or by category?
  • Is the same type of content consistently in the same areas, on every page?
  • Is there one primary call-to-action on each page?
  • Does the user have clear options for what to do next, once they have reached the end of the page?
  • Is this content easy for a Mobile user to navigate and read? 
  • (Note that on a touch screen, it’s important to allow for space around links, so that they are easy to select without accidentally hitting another link nearby.)

Do's and don'ts of menus and buttons

Next Step Writing to win on the web

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