« View Full Digital Library
Navigational principals for web design

Home Page and Navigation Principles


When it comes to web design, there are details, rules, and industry standards that should be included in any design.  There are three principles to creating a cohesive, user friendly web design: simple labels, clean navigation bar, and remarkable content.


  • When designing your homepage, it’s important to avoid “full site” labels to avoid any confusion for the user. This means if you provide a link on a page to a separate desktop action, use terms like “desktop” instead of “full”. The goal of this is to keep the user’s experience simple because if it seems too complicated or complex, you run the risk of losing the user altogether.

  • Content is key in web design whether that be in calls-to-action or page content. A call-to-action, or CTA, is meant to grab the reader’s attention immediately. CTA content should be clear and concise but most importantly, creative. Make all CTA’s easily visible in case a user misses a menu item. The same idea goes for page content as well. Outside ads and promotions can steal a user’s attention away from your site- don’t let that be the case! Design content around any ads in a way that is ingenious yet simple. Make the user experience as easy as possible.

  • A cluttered navigation bar makes for a messy site and challenges the user experience. Having several menu items might look fine on a desktop screen but it may be very difficult to navigate on mobile devices or tablets. A navigation bar should have as few menu items as possible (4-6). Don’t compromise the content or quality of your website by leaving out a menu item, but organize your content in a way that doesn’t require 12+ menu items.


Web design can be arduous, but the user’s experience should be as simple as possible. To do this, limit your site to a single browser window. It may be easy to switch windows on a laptop, but on any mobile device, being directed to multiple tabs is a pain. Several open tabs can be frustrating, but not being able to get back to the initial homepage can make a user leave the site altogether. Make it easy to get back to the home page by linking your logo back to the initial page or having a home item on the navigation bar.