Examples of Unique Navigation in Web Design

July 9, 2015

Good navigation is the backbone of any website. How a user navigates your site can lead them to convert or to never return to your website again. Most websites have some sort of navigation to guide visitors through each page, however, some websites take an extra step and really add the WOW factor to their navigation. We have compiled five websites that break the mold when it comes to website navigation design.

Timeline: Boligreisen


Granted, unless you are Norwegian, you will have absolutely no idea what this website actually says, however the design and navigation is superb. The premise of the website design is to take the user through the journey of buying a house, from thinking about a new home all the way through to your new housewarming party. Users can scroll through the website via arrows or by simply scrolling down on the mouse. Users dive into a virtual world that begins inside a man's head, flies down into a paper world on the wing of a paper bird and continues through each step of buying a house. Each stage has links to useful resources and products offered by the company, and the simple timeline navigation at the top of the site allows users to go back and forth as much as they need.

Discreet: Sassi Holford


One thing to note is that, even though navigation is very important to any website, a trend is developing where websites do not show the navigation upfront as you can see with this bridal website out of the UK. At first glance, the eye focuses on the beautiful image of the bride, not the logistics of how the site works. Users can then press on the familiar image of three horizontal lines, found mainly on mobile versions of websites, to reveal the navigation options. This is a great tactic for fashion or photography websites where the initial impact should be of a beautiful image to draw the user into the site.

Complex Simplicity: Commercial Bank of Dubai


The navigation on the Commercial Bank of Dubai's website is complex simplicity at its best. Users are faced with six options: Bank, Borrow, Protect, Invest, Discover, Budget and Track, which guide users to their destination efficiently. The navigation bar also follows users down the page as they scroll, meaning they don't have to go back to the top of the page to choose where they want to go next. This website is an inspiration to a company that has many things to offer all on one site. The Commercial Bank of Dubai website has clear call to action buttons designed to guide returning and unique users through the site competently, catering to many needs all in one space.

Innovation meets Traditional: Singapore Airlines


The Singapore airline's website allows users to navigate the site in both a traditional and innovative way. Users typically look to the top of a page to find the navigation bar, something they can do on this website with four options and a call to action button for 'Flights'. The fun starts with the dots lining the right hand side the page that lead users to different pages on the site. Users can jump in between dots to explore different aspects of the airline and its offerings. By simply scrolling too, users will be taken through each page/dot in chronological order.

Eye Tracking and the Future: Armani Frames of Life


Ever wanted to navigate through a site using your eyes? Well, it would seem that this reality is not far away. This website for Giorgio Armani glasses gives users a hint of the future using eye tracking software. Users are prompted to allow the website to use their webcam, and once this is enabled, users have to close their eyes for two seconds to signify to the website to play a video. Is the future of navigation going to be through signals from your eyes? Tell us your thoughts over on our Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Have you seen a really cool use of web design navigation? Share the link with us and keep the conversation going.

In need of a web design company? Talk to our consultants on how we can help you.

Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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