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Faceted navigation and its importance for UX – everything you need to know

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If you are entering the world of e-commerce, there are many decisions ahead of you that may seemingly not very important. In fact, they are able to have a real impact on whether you manage to gain adequate competitiveness and stand out among the numerous companies present on the market. The appropriate level of user experience – all user experiences and interactions with your e-store is the key to success. To achieve this, you need to consider a number of factors – for example, website navigation issues. How quickly, conveniently and intuitively a given user will be able to browse your offer will not be irrelevant in the sales statistics. The wider the assortment, the more important is the reduction of multiple, chaotic and complicated research of the offered products or services. One of the most popular solutions today isfaceted navigation – what is it and how can it be useful?

Faceted Navigation Explained 

Faceted navigation Its purpose is to simplify and narrow the search within the website by using the optional filtering system according to specific attributes. The user does not have to enter a specific phrase, he has the opportunity to find collections, i.e. products with indicated, common features – e.g. colors, dimensions, price ranges, etc., using the extensive menu. What is the main advantage? A potential customer avoids endless, annoying scrolling page by page, checking new, uninteresting offers, saves his time and energy to find only what he needs, which naturally has a much greater chance that he will decide to buy and be satisfied. 

This is particularly important when the user uses a mobile device (which is currently a popular solution), has limited screen space and often a slower internet connection. The expectations of e-consumers are growing, website efficiency and user-friendly interface are of great importance nowadays. These are also features promoted by Google, hence another equally important benefit – proper indexing of the page in the search engine. An undoubted advantage is also the ability to collect more precise analytical data – by tracking repetitive filtering activities, the owner of the e-store can thoroughly examine the needs and expectations of customers, and thus more effectively expand or modify his offer. hence another, equally important benefit – proper indexing of the website in the search engine. 

An undoubted advantage is also the ability to collect more precise analytical data – by tracking repetitive filtering activities, the owner of the e-store can thoroughly examine the needs and expectations of customers, and thus more effectively expand or modify his offer. hence another, equally important benefit – proper indexing of the website in the search engine. An undoubted advantage is also the ability to collect more precise analytical data – by tracking repetitive filtering activities, the owner of the e-store can thoroughly examine the needs and expectations of customers, and thus more effectively expand or modify his offer.

 Faceted navigation

Types of navigation 

Knowing what faceted navigation is and what benefits it can bring, it is also worth paying attention to other available solutions that are equally important in designing a professional website. How else can we make it easier for the user to navigate the website and find specific subpages, tabs or content? We can focus, for example, on aspects such as:

  • global navigation – as the name implies, it is a general, fixed set of navigation elements: main sections / pages of a website, usually placed in the form of a menu horizontally at the top or vertically, on the left in the form of a sidebar. Regardless of where it is located, remember that it is a kind of localization database that reminds us that we are still moving within the same website, so it must be on every subpage – so that the user has continuous access to set of links and also could reset the path in a given session. Global navigation also gives you an idea of ​​the size and complexity of your site.
  • local navigation – also known as sub-navigation, helps you discover what’s nearby, it is a kind of extension of global navigation. Thanks to it, users gain access not to the main structural elements of the website, but to those at a lower level, within the selected category (sub-components, subsections). Example? BOOKS online store section, from which we develop further subpages such as FACT LITERATURE, CUSTOM LITERATURE, CRIMINAL LITERATURE, etc. Usually local navigation is designed horizontally or vertically in the top or side menu.
  • breadcrumbsach – that is, a location within a site, a path that helps the recipient determine exactly where they are, conveniently go to a parent or child page, and understand the structure of the page. An example breadcumbs path is e.g. in the online store: HOME -> CATEGORY -> SUB-CATEGORY -> PRODUCT. Breadcrumb navigation works well for smaller websites where the number of subpages of a given session is not too large. There are three main types of it: path-based, location-based, and attribute-based. 
  • contextual navigation – again, as the name suggests – context-dependent, creates a strong relationship between the meaning of the text and related related pages – can refer to similar pages on the same site level, but also to other, external ones. Contextual navigation is used in the form of embedding in the content string (often as a text link), as well as at the end or side of the text, it often allows the user to expand / refine information and easily move to, for example, a thematically related page. 
 Faceted navigation

What navigation for the store, blog and other types of sites?

So how is it best to prepare an intuitive interface that will be able to encourage network users to frequent visits to the site? When faceted navigation works best? First of all, you first need to scrupulously analyze the target content, type and structure of a particular website. It is important how much information we want to take into account, what content will prevail, what its purpose is to be. It is equally important to examine the needs and habits of the target users – so that grouping the site, all navigation systems turned out to be as simple and comfortable as possible. If, for example, we plan a project of an online store with a rich assortment, our main goal should be that the user is not overwhelmed by the range and variety of products and can conveniently check it, depending on the needs, hence the popularity of faceted navigationin these types of cases. 

It will be different on a blog where, for example, various, thematically related content is published – here it is worth reaching e.g. to solutions related to contextual navigation. Such natural linking, containing links, for example, to your other websites, also has a great impact on positioning. If we are creating a business card page that is only to present the most important information about the company, a simple content hierarchy system focused on several main tabs and an interesting menu, placed in a visible place on the site, will work. We will consider navigation differently in each individual case – they are dealing with a mobile application, information or entertainment service, etc. However, each time we should be guided by the fact that our website is as user-friendly as possible. 

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