What Really Matters in Navigation Bar Usability?

by Toby Biddle

June 13, 2013 in Resources

A look at real A/B tests across several large enterprises suggests: everything.

Designing a navigation bar can be a humbling exercise. We want to consider our visitors’ natural orientation when browsing a site, along with their short attention span, and lay out a navigation structure that’s logical yet elegant. So what’s most important when designers think about navigation bar and sub-navigation usability practices?

In this post, we’ll examine several A/B tests conducted by large enterprises with plenty of resources, great attention to detail and a hunger for answers flanked by scientific method. Looking at this type of data, it quickly becomes clear that minutia such as link style, sub-nav structure, list order and the like, aren’t minutia at all. They can prove critical to the success of the site.

 

To sub-nav or not to sub-nav? That was Dell’s question.

In this first case study, a clever and meticulous team of Dell marketers discover that 5 pages in particular on their website correlate highly with visitors who complete a lead form. Their hypothesis becomes: if we put these pages in front of new visitors, perhaps they, too, will be more likely to convert, as it seems something about these 5 pages is compelling to them.

The A/B test Dell ran involved a baseline version of the site as it was already set up, with the B version offering visitors the 5 critical pages as sub-nav items. That move yielded 39% more leads.

Version A

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34 Examples of Memorable Website Branding

by Jake Rocheleau

June 11, 2013 in Resources

There are some websites online that just scream branding. You immediately recognize the site based on their logo design, the font style, the icon symbol, even vector artwork. Branding is a crucial part of the design experience because your company and its brand is all you need to draw in some attention. Many popular brands such as Microsoft and Apple demonstrate what a good logo can do for your company.

But having a good logo is only the first step. Then you need to work this into your website layout gracefully, in a manner where users are impressed and invigorated by the design. I have put together this showcase of 34 various website layouts featuring beautiful website branding. I hope this collection may provide inspiration for other designers who are launching a new project online and need a quick fix of design ideas.

MongoDB

mongodb website homepage open source database branding

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Beautiful Photographs of Tranquil Scenery in Nature

by Jake Rocheleau

June 9, 2013 in Inspiration

Our natural world is truly a beautiful place. Photographs are often times not enough to do our Earth justice. But so many photographers have worked to capture the beauty which can be found everywhere. And in this gallery I want to dedicate a series of images which are easily worth 1000 words.

Natural stock photography is a big component of news articles and online magazines because they are easy to fit into headlines. Readers will very easily relate to this imagery and so it can even help to drive inbound traffic deeper into your website. Check out some of these examples and see if you could use any related photographs in your own projects.

Magical Waterfall

waterfall flowers grass greenery shrubs

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Popular Resources for Startup Teams and Webmasters

by Jake Rocheleau

June 6, 2013 in Resources

People who have managed their own startup or websites online will know the stressors which come along through the job. It will require some finesse and a lot of research online. To install a CMS, create your own theme, back up the database, and fix bugs will require a whole toolbox of knowledge. But there are some helpful resources to be found online which may expedite the process of creating new website launches.

startup office space new design interior

I want to present a small collection of webapps and tools online for startup founders and webmasters. These are each unique in their own right but should not be underestimated as a beneficial product. One of the most difficult tasks when managing a startup is to keep the company above water, and not to lose yourself in debt. I think that by focusing on the free options available it will provide a wider margin for saving money.

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