I've got navigation bars on the brain, probably because we're in the midst of planning a site revamp right now and navigation should always be priority #1 in design.
(If they can't find what they want quickly and easily, your site is worthless.)
Black text on a white background is far easier to read than anything else, especially when it's as small as navigation text usually is. So I was surfing looking for design examples of great black and white nav bars when I discovered the glory of Wellhaven Gifts for Seniors.
Not only is their left vertical nav bar super-easy to read, but the copywriting is exceptional.
Why? Each item on the navigation bar is worded using the exact phrase a consumer searching for a gift might word their search. Links include "Gifts for Grandma," "Retirement Gifts" and "50th Wedding Anniversary Gifts."
It's searcher-centric wording versus "about us" wording.
Wellhaven President Patricia Curry admitted the copywriting was directly derived from search marketing tactics. "Yes, our menu links reflect what our customers, adult children of elderly parents, search for when looking for gifts."
When done well, this searcher-centric copywriting seems incredibly easy. Just like competitive figure skating. Until you try it yourself that is...
...then somehow that old list of products and services in your internal-corporate language keeps creeping back in.
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