How to Make Your Software Navigation More Intuitive - UserActive

How to Make Your Software Navigation More Intuitive

Navigation plays a huge role in the user experience of any SaaS. From surfacing your best features to making it easy to complete tasks and access information, it’s worth spending time to ensure that your navigation is doing its job. In this article we’re going to discuss how to make your software navigation more intuitive.

AllClients Case Study

In order to demonstrate how to go about improving your navigation, let’s take a look at a project we’ve recently delivered for AllClients, a CRM for small and medium-sized businesses. AllClients have been in the software business for 16 years and whilst the product has evolved, the navigation understandably struggled to keep up.

AllClients original dashboard and software navigation.
AllClients original dashboard and software navigation.

Key challenges

We began with several sessions to review where the current navigation was falling short. Also, we looked at how we can restructure it so that it shows the product in its best light. Key issues we discussed were discoverability of features and accessibility. Using a mind mapping tool, we developed concepts on how to restructure the navigation. We iterated on this until we found a general consensus on the best approach.

Another challenge was that over time, plenty of valuable features had been placed in the Settings menu. This made them difficult to discover for new users and unintuitive for existing users. So we saw this as a big opportunity to bring these features to the forefront of the software.

AllClients original settings section
AllClients original settings section

Implementation

Next, we worked on a series of designs to implement our ideas. We hosted several review sessions to sense check our work and gather collective input before resolving the final navigation design. On our designs, we’ve re-organised the menu items and tried to make them more descriptive of the product’s core features. One of the things we introduced was the use of submenus which contained descriptions of each feature. They make them easier to understand, which is particularly helpful for new users. AllClients are really happy with the new navigation design and we’re looking forward to observing improvements in new user behaviour once this navigation is rolled out.

UserActive redesign of AllClients' dashboard and software
navigation.
UserActive redesign of AllClients’ dashboard and software navigation.

Summary

In summary, it’s important to consider that your navigation is like a window into your product. Whilst it promotes accessibility, it’s also an opportunity to highlight core features and value embedded in your software. Over time, it’s really easy for navigation to get outdated or misaligned with your feature set. Therefore, it’s definitely worth revisiting your navigation from time to time. 

If you need help with product design for your software, please reach out to us via our website at useractive.io. In the meantime, we hope this video helps you to improve your product, get more users and grow.

Peter Loving

Peter helps SaaS companies create meaningful products users love. He regularly speaks at conferences and shares UI/UX related content on the UserActive blog and YouTube channel.

If you’re launching a new product, have some improvements you’d like to make, or simply want to plan for your next phase of gropwth, we’d love to help.

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