When planning, reworking, or improving a website, it makes sense to help visitors focus on what’s most important and relevant to them, and to hide content that isn’t pertinent to them.
… giving users the choice in navigation has the potential to cause more confusion and more work for your website visitors!
This finding had us scratching our heads.
An incredible user experience is a critical component of all the websites we plan, design, build, and improve here at our Colorado web agency, and guiding different groups of website visitors to different parts of websites has been a tactic we’ve recommended in the past when it was obvious different sub-audiences would be interested in different areas of content, especially within larger websites.
Based on previous research and usability best practices, we’d believed audience-based navigation could be a powerful strategy in certain instances.
It’s when a website offers different navigation choices (usually with names of the audience sub-groups) so audience sub-groups can head directly to different features and content when they click on their group name.
How could this not make sense and help visitors get to where they want to go as quickly as possible?
Turns out we (and many other web strategy agencies) were making an assumption.
When implementing audience-based navigation, the assumption is that the audience intuitively knows which group they belong to.
In theory, audience-based navigation makes things easier for the audience, and encourages website information to be organized and tailored to each audience sub-group to provide all visitors with quick answers and quick access to the information they really want.
However, what we’ve recently learned is that in reality…
This KeyBank example below shows you just how frustrating it can be for an audience member to navigate your site when it’s structured using audience-based navigation.
That being said, you can let your audience choose their own navigation, just do it the right way.
Are you ready to end your various audiences’ confusion? Reach out to us, and let us help you help them.