It’s not easy to keep visitors engaged with your website. You need captivating content, high-resolution images, and well-placed information blocks on each page. In addition, you need to create comprehensive, intuitive navigation for your website visitors. If a user can’t figure out in a few seconds how to navigate your site, they’ll leave and all your hard work will remain unnoticed.
One way to make sure visitors stay on your website is to come up with unusual website navigation animation and deviate from classic navigation methods. Designers can change the direction of scrolling, hide or add unexpected animations in menu bars, add flying hyperlinks, and more.
When designing website navigation, make sure that it corresponds to your needs and end goals. Also, check if your mobile site works well on all devices, including on smartphones, tablets, and desktops.
The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.
– Charles R. Swindoll
In this article, we want to show interesting approaches that designers have used to implement navigation on websites.
Users are more likely to understand how to navigate an application with an easy, simplified website navigation structure than with multi-layered navigation. Therefore, reducing navigation elements can be beneficial for users and can significantly ease user interactions with your website.
The Booreiland website may have minimalist and simple navigation, yet when you press the menu bar, you get a whole list of options. The black arrow lets you scroll the website and finally leads you to the portfolio for the project.
Read more about minimalist design in this article: How to design a minimalist website.
Haute Living, a design community website, has a minimalist design. The homepage has only two buttons: the classic hamburger menu in the upper right corner and a search button in the upper left corner. The landing page features side navigation with a slideshow of pictures taken from the portfolio. You can navigate the site through the side menu or see what’s new there is by scrolling down the website.
With the extensive growth of mobile device usage, designers have started to apply horizontal scrolling. Hawraf.com is an excellent example. Besides scrolling, visitors are entertained by tic tac toe with a bot, handwritten email, and a few other things. The site represents a sketch that successfully conveys the simplicity, transparency, and creativity of the agency.
PS: These guys post website screenshots of the most creative images on Twitter. Check them out.
Sometimes, designers make users navigate a site with the menu and don’t give them any alternatives. Designers create a hamburger menu in a top corner of the website and add a stylized menu to engage visitors. Pay attention to the changes in the bottom navigation bar of the Cruxmedia.com.au site between the Home, About, Work, and Contact us pages.
Our second example of a stylized menu comes from a personal website of a developer who’s also a designer. It’s a dynamic site with a unique navigation style. The main menu bar is done with the help of a wireframe. All buttons are clickable and direct you to the corresponding pages.
Huge one-page websites
At first glance, these websites remind you of landing pages. However, when you start navigating them, a whole new map opens up in front of you with hints on how to get around the site. Kurka Wolna is a great example. Follow the chicken’s footprints to find what you’re looking for.
Here, you can follow the car to get all the information you need. Just press GO!
Sometimes, designers split homepages into blocks and let visitors move across the site after choosing the block that interests them. This approach can be used for online magazines, design portfolios, and product pages (e.g. handmade pastries or jewelry).
Let’s look at a couple of example sites.
Soppo provides innovative and extraordinary online products such as cutting-edge websites, web applications, and online games for companies all over the world.
Jacquico specializes in made-to-order cakes and cupcakes.
Single-page scroll navigation
Single-Page scroll navigation is a good technique for websites that don’t have a lot of content. It’s a simple scheme where a visitor repeats the same action to reach their goal.
Google Arts & Culture is a great example of such a site. Users can explore the world as if they were looking at things through the eyes of a flying bird. On the homepage, you can follow rangers and explore places yet unseen by tourists.
Due to advancing technologies and improved internet connectivity, videos now load well both on laptops and mobile devices.
Modern sites serve either as business cards, mature marketing tools, or educational tools, many of which apply gamification elements to attract users. For example, inspacewetrust.org uses gamification to educate users about space.
Making navigation an experience
Creative navigation is an exciting tool to keep visitors on your website. It also demonstrates unconventional approaches to traditional methods. However, creative navigation isn’t applicable everywhere since it may distract users from a website’s main content.
If your product or service is based on animation or design or if you’re building a personal website, non-governmental project, portfolio, or city guide, unusual navigation will complement your application and is sure to attract visitors.
Most importantly, your app must give users a clear understanding of where they are and where they need to go to reach their goals.
For more design ideas, visit our Dribbble and Behance accounts as well as our portfolio.
Looking for creative website navigation ideas? Contact us and we’ll adorn your app with unusual navigation that meets its end goal.