When creating quite literally anything, especially when it comes to online content and media, one of the most vital things to take into consideration before designing is how navigable something should be. Not only does this consider taking into account accessibility, but it also consists of understanding how someone might maneuver around a specific medium in order to fully absorb the content in it. Being “ahead of the game” in terms of thinking of the best ways for your users to navigate around whatever media that is being consumed along with the benefits and challenges that come with it depending on how they consume it will make for more user-friendly and easily accessible content.
Perhaps one of my favorite pieces of advice when it comes to navigation comes from Butterfly.com and found in an article about steps to remember and follow when it comes to maintaining and creating better navigations, and it simply states, “Don’t re-invent the wheel (use web conventions.” This bit of advice can be applied to a lot of different things, but especially user experience, in my opinion. A lot of the time, designers and those in creative fields can get completely caught up in trying to make something completely different and “revolutionary” in the field. While this is completely great, and I definitely encourage thinking outside the box and making new and innovative ideas come to life, sometimes design can overwhelm or completely alter how a user navigates through a platform. If it becomes frustrating for the user, this can potentially cause them to not want to use or consume your media anymore, which is the complete opposite of what UX designers want.
There are many tactics one can use to develop the best experience possible when it comes to navigation associated with UX, but I personally feel as though looking at your design process through the eyes of someone who has never seen your content/product is one of the best ways to make sure that it is easy to navigate. Being able to take a step back and open yourself up to changing what doesn’t work and applaud what does without remaining stagnant is such an important skill to have as a designer, and it also makes for a more “successful” design process (I put this in quotes since measuring success is relative to whatever specific goals were set for whatever was created). Wanting the best for your users, including the navigation process that they encounter, is the ultimate goal, and once navigation is at its peak, the user can then focus on the content that the designer intended for them to be able to consume without the worry of extra “noise” getting in the way.