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Website navigation user experience

Website navigation user experience

Giving your visitor a good user experience and making your website usable is important. Yet even the big boys get it wrong and frustrates me endlessly

Forget for a minuter trying to explain the difference among “UX design”, “Usability” and “User Experience”. Frankly I do not care what you want to call it but I have a problem with the current trend for not implementing the basics in making it easy to me to go where I want to be.

Years ago we used to see these tiny “up-arrows” placed next to headings on longer pages that were simply a link to reload the page and take you back to the top of the page you were looking at. Handy enough and certainly did the job.

However in “todays internet” with potentially “vey long pages” it is frustratingly obvious that site owners just do not care about the user. It is all about that “precious real estate” that can be used for some fancy function the “enhance” the user experience or another “you would not believe what happened next” ad to make more money.

Lack of obvious navigation on Facebook timeline

Take Facebook for example. They have no idea what content the users will be posting on their timelines. Facebook’s user experience, in my opinion is far from ideal.
They have this fancy “lazy load” function on the timelines that allow you to scroll endlessly down for up to whenever your timeline started… Problem is how do you get back to the top of the time-line? I still do not know where that “magic button” is that I can click or tap to take me back to the top of the page.

Facebook Page Navigation

Twitter has the same problem…

Twitter Navigation

No the “home” button doesn’t take you to the “top” of your timeline. It takes you to the top of twitters website. I do not want to go there! I want to go to the top of MY timeline.

BBC is even worse

Yes on Twitter and Facebook you have at least a couple of options to wonder about. On the BBC website you are left without any site navigation at all.

BBC Site Navigation

The mighty Google

Google Plus Navigation

Even Google is struggling with basic navigation. Now easy clear way of going back to the top of this timeline… Once again the “Home” button takes you to the main google plus page.


“Old fashion...”

Call me “old fashion” if you want. I WANT that button. I want to scroll down as far as I can go and I want to go back to the top of the page without reloading the page or trying to find the “sweet spot” on the scroll bar to drag everything back down… Who cares about “swiping” the mobile screen 100 times when I can tap/click a simple button to take me back to the top…?

Modern take on the “back to top” button

The obvious solution would be to just display a simple button whenever the user scrolls down past a certain point. It can be small and stuck in the top bottom right corner of the page floating as you scroll down. I think most web developers are so focused on trying to provide a “complete” user experience that the simple useful things are overlooked.

Website User experience and useability

XMS Systems and the “magic button”

I implemented this “magic button” on XMS Systems in the latest release. The difference it makes in the life of the user is unmeasurable. You just don’t realise you need something that simple until you don’t have it. I find myself constantly “looking” for that button on the major websites I am visiting on a regular basis. Both on my desktop and mobile device… In most cases it is not there wasting my time because of a lack of usability...

Written by:  - 24 Sep, 2016  
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