What is a Mega Menu on a Website & Why is it Useful?

This mini guide from the Squarebird team looks at website mega menus. Here we explain what they are, why they’re useful, the benefits they provide as well as considerations for using them.

What is a Mega Menu?

Often used on online stores and large websites that have plenty of categories and subcategories, a mega menu is a type of navigation menu that makes all (or at least most) pages on the website visible and accessible.

They enable you to ensure your website’s entire navigation is placed within a single menu, allowing visitors to see and reach different areas of your website – including lower-level pages – from the main menu.

They are usually accessed by hovering over a specified area and tend to be divided into sections. All options are visible and can be displayed either vertically or horizontally.

Popular websites that use mega menus include Puma, Sony, ASOS and IWOOT.

Check out this mega menu we built for a local fruit and veg retailer! All the products are clearly separated into categories for easy user experience.

Benefits of Mega Menus

So, what benefits do mega menus provide? Let us explain…

Comprehensive

The main benefit of a mega menu is that they’re comprehensive and ensure all pages of your site are included within the navigation menu. Users will always have easy access to every page on your site, helping them to quickly find exactly what they want.

Organised & Easy to Follow

Mega menus are larger and have much more space than standard drop-down menus. This enables pages/products to be split up by categories and logical submenus, keeping things neat and organised. By giving website visitors more options, they’re more likely to find what they’re after sooner.

Images & Icons Can be Incorporated

Due to the space available with mega menus, there’s an opportunity to include visuals like images and icons within them. This helps to break up the text and provide additional information without being too text heavy. Quirky illustrations, for example, can be used, or you could even include images of your most popular products.

Functional & Stylish

Another reason to consider adding a mega menu to your site is because they look great! They’re stylish, modern and can truly enhance the appearance of your website.

Ecommerce

Should Your Website Use a Mega Menu?

Whether your website requires a mega menu will depend on things like its size, nature and objectives. Although they can be a great solution, it’s important to stress that not all websites will benefit from them.

User experience (UX) is arguably the most significant factor in determining the type of navigation menu you need. If a mega menu will make the navigation menu easier and more intuitive for your users to use, then it makes perfect sense to incorporate into your website design. If, however, your website is relatively small and you don’t need many links in the menu, a mega menu is probably unnecessary.

Mega menus are typically used by big retail stores with a large number of products. This is because it allows products to be grouped into categories and subcategories, helping to direct shoppers to the relevant section of the website and continue shopping.

If you’re looking to redesign your website and are unsure as to whether a mega menu is suitable or not, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of the Squarebird team today. We’re experts when it comes to website design and would be more than happy to listen to your requirements and provide our advice and recommendations.

Considerations & Tips for Using Mega Menus

Here are some of our top tips and considerations for adding a mega menu to your website.

Make it Easy for Users to Scan

Make your mega menu easy for users to scan and find the category they need by effectively using headings. Consider bold text and the typography used too.

Don’t Overload the User

Just because you can fit loads of categories and links in a mega menu doesn’t mean you should. Giving your users too many options can overload them and make it harder to find what they’re looking for, so spend time carefully considering what to include in your menu.

Prioritising Your Mega Menu

Think about the order of your mega menu’s options. Analyse any data you have on user behaviour and prioritise the options which your users will want to see.

Avoid Having Links Too Close Together

Ensure each link has a large clickable area. Placing them too closely together can make them harder to click on, particularly on mobile, which can lead to a bad UX.

Hover or Click?

Another thing to consider is how your website’s mega menu is triggered; do users need to hover over an area or do they need to click? This needs careful consideration because you need to make sure users avoid unintentionally opening and closing menus.

WordPress Mega Menus with Squarebird

We hope this short guide has provided you with some useful information when it comes to mega menus.

If you are looking to create a new website or would like a revamp of your current site, be sure to contact Squarebird today. We’re a digital agency specialising in designing and developing awesome, engaging websites that deliver results for businesses in an array of industries.

View Squarebird’s services >

See more: How to Drive Conversions on an Ecommerce Website

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