Long story short – some interviews conducted about a website I helped develop included comments that navigation was confusing and complicated. Further responses seemed to indicate that users were not using navigation in the manner originally intended. “Landing pages” designed for specific target audiences were being ignored in favor of “power user” navigational elements.
Other complaints talked about certain points within the website taking “20 clicks” when in reality they were 2 clicks away. Their click-paths would take them through basic “mini site-maps” rather than the intended path of “target audience page -> link to target page”.
One idea that was brought up was that the webpage was too evenly weighted visually. That users weren’t visually drawn to the “main menu” and perhaps meander through the page with their eyes.
I’m curious about this idea. I’m trying to find articles, books, anything that might cover how web pages are visually processed and how color, contrast, and images might help draw a viewer’s eye through to the “main menu” and keep them from wandering.
A couple ideas that came to mind right away were to move the “main menu” towards the center of the page by including greater gutter space on either side of the page.
Another is to somehow dramatically differ the menu from the rest of the page via contrasting colors or some other means. But this is all simple, off-the-top-of-my-head idea type stuff and not supported by fact.
So if you’ve got any online articles, or know of any books or websites that address this topic, or you’ve got your own thoughts on the subject, toss me an e-mail or post a comment to this blog entry with your information.