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How to Effectively Use Website Tabs

In the quest to design a website that’s easy to navigate and features a high usability score, you must call upon several unique design elements. Many times when you have a vast amount of content you need to display, figuring out how to effectively display this content without overwhelming visitors is much easier said than done. Many times, website designers call upon drop-down menus to satisfy this need. Unfortunately, these elements are often abused and results in a confusing interface. If you’re searching for a way to streamline user navigation while providing content in a logical manner, then you’ll want to investigate the use of in-page website tabs.

Website Tab Tips

As with many navigation-centric design elements, in order to effectively utilize in-page website tabs, there are several guidelines you must follow. By carefully implementing in-page tabs, you’ll cultivate a website that’s not only visually appealing, but also easy to navigate – two qualities the majority of visitors require.

Tip # 1- Alternate Views Within The Same Context

By using in-page tabs, you’re able to alternate views, or actual content, that falls within the same umbrella context. This allows you the option of providing a vast array of content in a streamlined and logical manner. Avoid using tabs to simply navigate to different areas of a website. Instead, only use tabs when the topics all fall within the same context.

Tip #2 – Use Logic When Tabbing

When you’re creating in-page tabs, make sure that you congregate content that logically makes sense. The idea is the user will easily predict what they’ll uncover when they choose a specific tab. This tip closely ties into the first tip, which states that all tabs should be within the same scope of context.

Tip #3 – Limitations In Use

Make sure that you only use in-page tabs when a user doesn’t need to read content found in multiple tabs at the same time. This isn’t the place to put comparisons, such as comparing different products or services. Rather, each tab should stand alone in its content and information relayed within them.

Tip #4 – Only use Parallel Tabs

In order to streamline the visual design – and reduce any confusion experienced by users – only use tabs placed in a parallel, or horizontal, design. Vertical tabs are often confusing and can slow the user experience, which is highly frowned upon.

Tip #5 – Highlight Currently Opened Tab

To avoid confusing users, make sure that the tab that’s currently selected is highlighted in a different color than the rest of the tabs. This allows users to easily see where they are within the actual page and prevents frustration when navigating multiple in-page tabs.

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