Are We There Yet?
Long before kids spent Sundays surfing through Cyberspace, many of us endured the Sunday Drive—a meander to parts unknown, rolling along wherever the road would take us. With kids, dogs and picnic wares loaded up, we headed out to breathe fresh country air. Sounds idyllic, yes?
No. After 15 minutes, the motion sickness set in. Our dog and I took turns with our heads out the window. And, all I could think was, “Are we there yet?”
Today, I avoid car trips like the plague. If I travel, it’s by airplane. But, with time stretched to the limit, still I experience the Are-We-There-Yet sensation—especially, when I’m looking for information on the Internet.
Neither search engine nor connection speed is the issue—both are very efficient. Things bog down when I arrive at a destination site and have to slam on the brakes. The road ahead is not clear. The route between my needs and the site’s solution is not apparent. Sometimes, I get so frustrated that I look for a different resource altogether.
The culprit is web site navigation. Is your homepage a welcoming entrance to your site with clear indicators that direct visitors to what they need? Or, does it mirror your organizational chart?
When I am asked about how to develop the “best” navigation, the simple answer is navigation that best serves the needs of your audience. Establish the goal of your web site. Understand what your customers want from the site. Enable them to achieve that in as few clicks as possible. Doing so will show your visitor that you understand their needs. Don’t keep them wondering, “Are we there yet?”