The best navigation menus for mobile web design

Added 04.12.12

As anyone who works in web design will know, those who choose to browse using mobile devices (such as iPads and smart phones) behave very differently to those who browse using a laptop. When it comes to crafting a mobile web design, then, it is important that the following tips are taken into account when putting together the navigation menu:

  • Reduce the number of buttons
    This can be difficult if your desktop version has a large number of links; even so, you should try to limit the navigation to five buttons or less and use nested menus if necessary.
  • Reduce the number of taps
    You should always try to keep the number of actions that need to be performed on a mobile device to the bare minimum; this lessens the chances of a user making a mistake.
  • Scrolling navigation
    Make sure that the most crucial elements are kept at the top of the navigation menu; keep in mind that these devices are smaller, so the hierarchy is more pronounced.
  • Stackable buttons
    Keep in mind that users of mobile devices see your website in portrait instead of landscape orientation; your navigation should be presented vertically, so that you read down instead of across.

As you can see, there are a number of ways that you can work to improve the navigation menus that are utilized in mobile web design. Not only will this make the user experience much more enjoyable (therefore encouraging users to return and recommend your site to others), it will ensure that they don’t get lost and don’t tap the wrong button by accident.