What Is User Navigation?

User Navigation Defined

User navigation is the map, directions and route a user takes to find information they are seeking on a website or app. 

There are three main types of navigation systems.

  • Global Navigation: is site-wide navigation which allows access to key areas or functions. It usually found on every page of a website and can contain multiple levels of hierarchy. 
  • Local Navigation: enables users to explore the immediate area or a subset of a website. 
  • Contextual Navigation: Contextual navigation provides navigation in line with content (e.g. hyperlinks).

To develop a good website navigation system, there are four key components; 

  • Locator: Also known as a site ID, is a way for users to know where on the website they currently are.
  • Navigation Method: For visitors, this is a way to find out where on a website you can go and how to get there. 
  • Trace Route: This is a way for users to find where on the website they’ve been. This is also known as a home link and allows users to return to where they started.
  • Search: This is the search functionality visitors have access to. It’s a way to quickly find specific information users might be looking for.

In Data Defined, we help make the complex world of data more accessible by explaining some of the most complex aspects of the field.

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