A photo showing McDonalds putting their menus in the store's basement, to illustrate why your website's main navigation shouldn't be on the bottom of your website.

Could you ever crave a burger badly enough to go down in the basement? Not us. We have nightmares about creepy basements. And what if that creepy clown Ronald is down there too?

What would happen if the owners of a new burger joint decided to be different by putting the ordering counter in the basement? Potential diners would look for the familiar menu board and counter in the usual places. Puzzled by their absence, they’d wonder if the restaurant is open. Many would leave burgerless. The few who did figure it out would always remember that restaurant as “the one with the weird basement ordering thing.”

Websites are now as familiar as fast-food restaurants. Customers have grown accustomed to a relatively standard “floorplan.” We expect the navigation “menu” to be right there when we walk in the “door” — at the top of the page, on the side, or both.

Maybe you want your website to be different. There are pros and cons to getting funky with your web page layout. But even if you want an edgy, artsy, utterly unique design, messing with the menu placement is a no-no.

Websites that place their navigation at the bottom of the page — in the basement — confuse potential customers, driving many away. The few who stick around long enough to figure it out will remember your site as “the one with the weird bottom navigation thing.”

  • DO place navigation where it will easily be seen without scrolling down.
  • DON’T forget that browser windows come in various sizes. What is visible without scrolling on a big desktop monitor may be different from what is visible on a tablet.

Need help with your website? Call Kim Landry at 484-829-0021 or email kiml@hollistercreative.com.

 

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