The category page is a page that lists the links to other parts of your website. It is a little like an index at the beginning of a book. The idea behind a category page is to make it easy for the user to see what there is on offer, and to select what they want to see, or download. If the category page in your web design is good, then users are more likely to stay with you. So these category page design tips, should make life easier.
By keeping the category page fairly simple and straight forward, the user can quickly find and select the web content that they want to see. If a user is overwhelmed by graphical content, or text that flashes, or spins around, then many users will look somewhere easier to find what they are after. The idea here is to make it easy, and you should design your category page, with the user in mind. I know all websites should be designed with the user in mind, but you know how it is.
Also, keep the category page relevant to the content, and try and group similar items together. This way it makes it easier for users to find what they want. This is, after all, the name of the game. Try and adopt a logical approach to laying out the links, and keep it readable.
Make sure your links are descriptions are good. What this means, is that they are good for where they point to, and are relevant. The better links and descriptions the better informed the user will be, and what they will find when they click. If the links and descriptions are a tad poor, users can feel that they have been mislead and look elsewhere for the information. It goes without saying that this needs to be avoided.
Make sure that each link carries a link that leads back to the category page. It may sound obvious, but not every site has applied this rule, and quite frankly, that is daft. Users will want to buzz around the site looking at this, and then that, and then this again. If they can navigate back to the category page easily and simply, then they can do this. Also, they are staying on your site, and not someone else’s. Pretty good huh!
Some websites have their category page spread over several pages. This is not a good idea as it complicates navigation for users, which is one of the big no-nos in web design. In essence, this is a bad practice. If you think of everything under one roof, or the category page as a central point from which users can go anywhere on the site, then you will design a better category page.
One of the best category design tips I can give you, is that scenarios where users have to click on a category page, and then to a content page, and then back to the category page just to find information that they are looking for, is not good for their soul. It will not be good for your site either, as they would have left it.
It is important to strike a balance when designing your category page. You have to ensure that there is not too much content, as this can make it all too complicated for the user, and too little makes catorgory pages’, seem pointless. The trick is to make the category page easy to use, and have enough content without having too much. May take a few goes to get right.
We hope these category page design tips will come in handy, if you have any, why not tell us about them.