On a website, one of the most important things is a navbar. If you want to learn UI, UX, and learn how to create great websites, then you should definitely know how to create a navigation bar.
Navigation may seem irrelevant but it is crucial for every website. Navbar makes navigation easier for visitors. So, having a good navigation bar is as important as other website sections.
In order to create beautiful and convenient navbars, there are some very important steps you should follow. It is not hard and sits in UI and UX design principles.
Let’s learn a little about this aspect of web design and how we can create good looking and working navigation bars for our websites.
Simple Design Navbar
The first thing you should consider when designing a navbar is design. Design is a very important aspect of a website. But don’t think that it must have a complex design.
It’s the opposite. Navigation design must be simple and clean. A visitor should easily understand how it works. It makes navigation easier and the user experience good.
Simple design means that in the navigation bar there should be only the most important content. It can contain content such as logo, pages, search, and cart in case of eCommerce. Also, you can add some CTA buttons.
And the layout can be different. For example, the classic layout is when a logo is on the left side and pages are on the right side. Also, buttons, cart, the search goes to the right side.
Another option is when the logo is in the center and the pages are below. This can be good for blogs. But it doesn’t fit in the eCommerce website.
There is another variation of this layout. Instead of a two-row layout, you can have a one-row layout. When a logo is in the center and page links are on both sides of the logo.
It is a simple and beautiful design. It works with blogs, eCommerce, and many other types of websites. I personally love this design. It is simple, clean, and modern.
So, when you create a website, consider a website type, the whole design, and then decide which one is the best layout for that particular website.
Of course, you can get more creative and make other layouts, but the important thing is that it must be simple, easy to navigate, and clean.
Think About Responsive Design
When you designing a navbar, always think about mobile and responsive design. Because you can create beautiful navigation for a desktop but it may not work on mobile.
That is why it has to be simple and clean. The desktop is big and you can put many contents in the header but the mobile screen is very small. So, the item cluster in the navigation may cause problems.
Actually, it is a good practice to think mobile-first. It means that first, you should create a website design for a mobile, and then transform it for desktop.
This way, it naturally becomes simple, clean, and won’t be cluttered. Mobile-first design has become very popular and its popularity grows. Many UI designers prefer mobile-first design.
So, you can try to build a website with a mobile-first method and see yourself. Maybe you will prefer this method. But it will really help you to make a good navbar.
Include Important Pages
Another very important thing in the navigation bar is the pages you include. Never insert pages that are not as important as others. A visitor wants to go to important pages such as shop, blog, info, tutorial, etc.
If you include some random or not important pages, the navbar will become cluttered and complicated. It will be hard to navigate and there is a chance a visitor will not continue to search more and leave.
So, make a page hierarchy. See which ones are important and insert only these pages. It can be a blog page, sale page, shop page, information page, etc.
For example, if you building a blog, don’t include an about or contact page there. Instead, put the blog and categories pages. Also, you can include resources or tutorials.
You can insert the about page in the header on the corporate website. Because it is crucial for a visitor to know who you are and what you do.
In the end, 4-5 page links in the navigation is pretty enough for a standard website. Don’t add more. It will be too complex.
Use DropDown Menus
But if a website has many pages and many of them are more or less important, you can use drop-down menus. It is a great option for a website with many information and pages.
This way, you can have very minimalistic navigation, for example, three pages, and include other pages in the drop-down menu.
Also, the drop-down menu is a great option if you want to include all the pages in your header. For example, if a website has main pages and subcategories for all the pages, put main pages in the navigation and subcategories in the drop-down.
Actually, many modern websites, especially tech websites use this navbar layout. It looks clean, modern, and makes it easy to navigate through the website.
Non-Important Links In Footer
Often the footer section is overlooked. And it is not good because the footer can be used very intuitively. You can put a lot of stuff there.
Of course, depending on the type of website, it can have a very simple design, but it also can be a powerful section.
For example, in the footer, you can add contact information, maps, links, pages. But you can also include navigation and non-important link that you didn’t include in the header navbar.
It can contain the main menu and all the other pages like about and contact. You can divide your pages and put important ones in the header, and less important ones in the footer.
Also, you can add logos, buttons, subscription forms, Google Maps, address, email, etc. Footer can be a great helper. And it also can be an additional part of a website design.
So, don’t overlook the footer. A visitor scrolls down and the last section he sees is the footer. Include there some good links and info.
As you can see, the navbar is an important section in a website as a hero or other sections. Think about the whole design, what content it has, what should go in the header or footer, and create simple, beautiful, and modern navigations that work.