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Examples of Good and Bad Navigation Menus

If you want users to love your website, easy navigation is crucial. This might seem like a simple enough idea to implement, but in practice it can be quite difficult. Inventing a unique and meaningful way for users to navigate their way around a website can be tough. Finding navigation that is easy to use, as well as being visually appealing, is even more difficult.

The popularity of JavaScript libraries has made it easy to add attractive and functional navigation designs. As an example, many promotional websites are simply a single page that has a series of animated effects which the user hovers over or clicks on the give information and navigate.

It is easy to go overboard with different scripts, buttons, animations and other effects when creating a website’s navigation. Visitors want to be able use a website easily, without being bothered by complicated buttons and tool bars.

Following are some good examples of menus, which have made use of unique and brilliant design. These should help to inspire you to find ways to make your own site more user-friendly. While some of the techniques used are likely to attract visitors to your site, some should be more carefully used. While there are unique techniques, which are groundbreaking, they are difficult to execute without deterring from usability. If you are not a skilled designer you might find it hard to use some of the methods which these sites put into use.

Scrolling and parallax

Parallax is an effect which lets layers move independent of each other in relation to a specific view point. This can give a 3D feeling which adds depth to a website. The Nike webpage uses this technique to great effect. When the user scrolls vertically the effect is visually noticeable.

The Rosso Carmilla uses vertical scrolling to create an interesting 3D effect. As various parts of the page are hovered over they appear to be moving, creating a feeling of depth. The colour palette on this page is limited to few different colours, which adds style to the page. The ideas used on this site are very interesting, and they are executed well.

The Siebennull website uses the “cluttered desk” style of design with a wooden theme. A 3D feel is created by shadows and realistic graphics, with a parallax effect implemented. The problem with this page is that sometimes the background will not hold still while the user is looking at a particular item on the screen. This can be very disturbing and detracts attention away from the site’s content.

Story telling

A great way to make the user stay on the page and want to interact with it is to create a story. This keeps visitors clicking to the next section in order to see how the story will unfold, and keep them reading your content.

Ben the body guard is a landing page that uses a story rather than the usual “coming soon” style of page. When you scroll around on this page, if you watch closely, you can actually see a story unfolding. The narrator strolls down the street, giving explanations about various parts of the page.


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