Regardless of how many new website trends come and fade away, central to it all, is the concern to improve the website user experience. A good user experience comprises in making it as easy and pleasant for them as possible to access the website information. Apart from the website design trends, this also holds true of the navigation patterns and elements we design. So, be it the use of a full-screen navigation or single page scroll navigation, all we’re trying to achieve is the ease of use and enhanced user experience. While a poor design delivers the kind of UX people ask for, a great one creates a UX that people actually need. So, there might be numerous new and different approaches to designing the website navigation patterns and elements that we adopt this year, the sentiment underlying it all will be, to add to the users’ experience. With that said, here’s a sneak-peek into the navigation styles predicted to be in trend for 2017:
- As observed lately, no users want to be directed from one screen to the other in a monotonous manner anymore. In fact, in this day and age, the users command much more authority and interaction while going through your web pages than ever. The website navigation trends in the year 2017, therefore, will be more centered around improving website visitor’s experiences as they proceed to access relevant information on the website.
- Instead of linear and boring navigation experiences, where the users are ‘herded like cattle’ from one screen to another, the trend will shift towards providing more control to the users for customizing their experience to what they anticipate. So, 2017 will be the year to design for the de-linearity wherein the users will be given multiple paths through which they could choose to navigate. The will be given the authority to make more decisions about their user experience. There will be multiple ways to accomplish every touchpoint.
- We can safely say that most of us access the web on our phones a lot more than on computers. So, the overall trend will shift more towards making the navigation simple enough for mobile usage. This has meant a complete reform of the website navigation. So the long and complex navigation styles are no longer going to be in trend this year.
- It is a well-known scientific fact that the short term memory of humans can take care of a maximum of 5-9 items at a time. So, for quite a long time, the UI/UX designers would consider 7(±2) as the optimum number of menu items in the navigation bar. The trend, these days, for keeping the number of visible main menu items, however, is to an absolute minimum number. So, websites like Paypal now have just 3 items in their primary navigation, as opposed to 11, earlier. This indicates adoption of more simplicity in the navigation menu in 2017.
- The mobile influence has increased the popularity of the Hamburger navigation more than ever. Extensive A/B Testing has proven the effectiveness of the hamburger approach. The representation of the menu as the three hamburger lines along with the MENU label has proved to be ideal that works most of the times while hamburger lines along might get a bit confusing. So, this is going to trend in 2017.
- This may seem like a subtle change but the hamburger menus are predicted to shift the left. With Google and other leading websites, placing their hamburber menus on the left, to enhance the user experience, everyone has also started to follow the suit. Placing it on the left, makes the menu among the first few things a visitor can see on the page – which is true even with the use of devices like screen reader.
- Besides these trends, the sticky navigation and mega-menus have been widely popular for quite some time now and are going to maintain their popularity well into 2017 as well.
- To sum it up, the modern website designs in 2017 will have their primary navigation reduced to a bare minimum with the other links to be availed through ‘mega-menus’, ‘hamburger’ navigation and the other navigation depending on the context and user Experience will be given the highest importance in deciding the website navigation.
We wish you build well-navigated websites in 2017!