When most bloggers think of navigation they usually think of nothing more than the menu bar across the top of their blog. At this blog, however, this idea includes much more. When I use the term navigation I’m referring to the overall interaction that your user has with your site.
Navigation is the measure of how easy it is for your users to find their way around your site and how easy it is for them to journey their way into engaging with your content.
This includes their navigating throughout the pages and posts, their interacting with the dynamic content like polls and comment forms, and their ease in finding the information that you want them to find.
A Blogging Lesson from Captain Jack Sparrow
Navigation in its most common usage usually refers to guiding large vessels like ships or aircraft. In the third installment of Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain Jack Sparrow demonstrated this concept perfectly.
It was in that movie that Jack Sparrow used a unique compass that others thought was broken to direct him toward ‘his heart’s desire.’ Instead of pointing it’s tip toward the north, this compass would point toward the person’s most desired object.
Google Uses Jack’s Magic Compass. Why Don’t You?
For most internet users Google is that magic compass. Someone trying to navigate the internet can input a few keywords and then Google sends them off in the right direction to find whatever it is that they’re looking for. They’ve made it easy to find useful info.
As a result of Google’s simplistic approach to finding information, it’s brand and logo are now synonymous with finding anything on the internet.
I believe whole-heartedly that if you want to dramatically increase the success of your blog then you need to copy this principle from Google’s playbook: Keep it simple, stupid.
As you work to make it easier for your users to journey throughout your site and find points of interaction, you will see a dramatic increase in repeat visitors and in user interaction.
In tomorrow’s post I’m going to build on today’s lesson by providing you with some practical tips for dramatically enhancing your site’s simplicity. I’ll walk you step-by-step through the best ways to increase the quality of your user’s navigating experience at your website.
Daily Discussion: Can you think of a site that you’ve visited that you eventually left because it was too difficult to find what you were looking for? Can you think of a blog that you refused to participate at because their were too many obstacles to hurdle in order to leave a comment? What other areas can you think of that bloggers can improve by simplifying?