Who are your target users? What attributes do they have? Why do they visit your site? What do they expect out of your website? View the website through their eyes to properly arrange the structure & style of your website for easy navigation. A useful web design will have a good navigation to aid users to accomplish the reason they visit you site.
Don't over-crowd web pages with a great deal of items/categories. A good web design will incorporate sub categories under major categories. In this method the items/categories are simplified for easy navigation which will affect the user-experience in a positive manner.
A website's header, footer, menu and banner areas are prominent locations of a website. They matter most as they are very visible to the users. Some leave the website for not being able to find where they are going or in other words where the site is leading them to. An average surfer's attention span is very short. Primary links should be featured in these areas for users to be able to navigate with ease.
The home page of a website is the central area to which all other web pages are connected to. Ensure that you allow the surfer's to return to this page with much ease, preferably with a single click to avoid irritating users. Same way ensure that people are able to browse your website with ease between your different web pages with proper drop down menus, categories etc to avoid losing their interest.
It is vital to know which links are going to be featured on the menu, footer, banners and headers etc. Know what information is vital to your users. Plan your categories properly. The rule is simple. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Don't change your website structure or your navigational ways too often as you will end up confusing the users from time to time. Also do not replace navigations style for each page as you wish. Have a proper style regarding the header, menu, banners and footer. The order of the content featured on these facets should be the same throughout the navigation process.
Sitemaps not only ensure an easy navigation experience for users, but also for search engines to crawl your website properly. Place the sitemap link in an area that could be easily accessed by surfers. Aside from making life easier for a user, it also provides the entire architecture of your website for users to have a better understanding.
A search tool on the website is very useful in assisting the surfers. It is a quick way of enabling users to find exact details they require. If people don't have much time and are looking for specific info, they will be most likely to use this tool. This facet is considered as a vital element in a user-friendly website.
Last of all, do check your website navigation on different browsers and screen resolutions. Check them on mobile devices such as smart-phones & tablets. Ensure that people are able to view and navigate the website the way you made it. Good testing will enable your website to thrive.