15 seconds. That is the average amount of time a person spends on one website. This means that any website needs to be compact and easy to navigate so that the user can process the most important information within that window of time.
Having a simple menu with fewer menu items is one sure way of making sure the most important information is clear. The most basic rule for the menu is that less is always more.
Here are some key steps for making your menu bar as simple and minimal as possible:
- Stick to fewer menu items. You might choose to use the menu just for the categories of different items on sale.
- Try and fit all the menu items on one screen. If it is not possible to fit them all on one screen, then make sure that the most important items are easily visible on one screen. It’s OK if some of these menu items are expandable and if the menu is longer than one screen when expanded. But the first look should be simple enough that all the tabs are visible.
- Make the most important menu items – the categories of products being sold – larger and bolder than less important items. This immediately draws attention to these items and will direct the user to these pages. See Adidas’ menu as an example below.
Use graphic icons
Using small graphic icons will make it easier for the user to navigate the website. Even if you don’t use graphic icons for all the menu items, using them for a select few, such as for help or for signing in is useful.