A collaborative online community that brings together photographers and creative professionals of every kind to find ways to keep photography relevant, respected, and profitable.

Have an idea for a post?

Want us to find an answer to your question? Interested in becoming a contributor?Email us

‹ Home

July 15th, 2009

Website Tweaks: Be careful naming those menu items

Posted by Michael Costuros

Michael founded liveBooks in 2002, but he has earned his living creating portfolio websites for creative professionals since 1997. In that time he’s learned a lot of simple things that photographers can do to make good websites even better, regardless of who makes them. His first “Website Tweak” on RESOLVE advocates clear menu names.

Emilie Sommer: Clear, concise navigation menus

If you spend a few minutes familiarizing yourself with Emilie’s website, you’ll see that it’s incredibly rich in content, yet it looks clean and simple and the main menu is easy to navigate.

The key here is the “information” menu item. Because the word “information” is both clear and broad, it enables Emilie to include a variety of content in the drop-down menu under it. Collecting most of her content under this one drop-down keeps the main navigation and the user’s overall impression of the site clean and orderly.

When you have a lot of items in a drop-down, be sure to name each one so that the user/client will know exactly what they’ll get when they click on it. Spend some time coming up with page names to make sure you have the best ones, and if you find a better one down the road, go in and change it.

Critiquing the names under Emilie’s “information” menu item, I have only two issues. The first is small: The link called “Emilie.”  Most people will guess correctly that this link is about Emilie, but it wouldn’t hurt to let visitors know for certain by changing the name to “About Emilie.”

My second critique — of the link called “Emilie Ink” — I feel more strongly about because choosing a better name could lead directly to more revenue. I did not catch that “Ink” was spelled with a “k” rather than a “c,” and I assumed that this link was about her photography business. I probably would have assumed the same thing even if I did notice the alternate spelling. Either way, I would be surprised to discover behind that link a whole new website offering custom printing services to her clients!

You want to make your revenue-generating items as easy to find as possible. Don’t hide them in a sub-menu unless that sub-menu name is something clear like, “Services.” A more effective name for Emilie’s link to her print services might be “Custom Cards.”

In summary, Emilie’s navigation logic and page names are nice and clear, with just a few possible improvements. I recommend that you review your navigation logic and naming, and see if you can find a way to make it even clearer. Your visitors will thank you.

Be Part of the RESOLUTION: What navigation naming tricks have you seen or used that work particularly well?


  1. July 16th, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Miki Johnson

    Great Facebook comment from Samar Jodha

    I agree with the above plus I also feel at times one gets carried away in making oneself too creative on their website. The viewer/visitor doesn’t have the time(most of the time is surfing/browsing) or the space to analyze the authors creative philosophy. I think to keep the list(menu) self explanatory and more like a laundry list of the content. … Read MoreClean looks is some thing I have discovered out of my own works over period of time,as we all know that too many graphics and flash ideas makes it look like a video parlor and instant departure of the visitor from one’ site. What I really like about Emilie is a very clean opening page leading to various paths/options but need to throw in that menu all the critical priorities of business/sales or any thing else which need to be grabbed at first glance by the visitor.

  2. August 13th, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    » RESOLVE, the liveBooks Blog

    […] Read more […]

Leave a reply



Learn how to engage your audience and
build brand recognition across social
channels. Learn more...

Free eBook

Search Resolve



Pick your package. Pick your design.
No credit card required.

Start 14-day Free Trial
Compare packages