I'm wondering if this would be bad UX and if so what are good alternatives.

Here's the layout:

A Services link in the main navigation that takes you to a main "Services" page. That main services page has links to the 6 services pages. Within those individual services pages there's prev and next buttons at the bottom of the copy to get to the rest of the services pages. The only way the user can skip around services pages without following the linear path of previous and next is by going back to the main services page or clicking links to the other services pages in the footer.

Unfortunately there are no dropdowns in the main navigation, which would solve all issues.

4 Answers 4


This would indeed be bad UX, because you're telling the user to navigate blindly.

A secondary navigation bar or a side-bar on your Services pages containing the links to the other pages would better serve the user.

If you need information on the merits of secondary navigation bars and side-bars, I actually responded to a question about this yesterday,

  • Would it make a difference if the next and previous buttons had the name of the service page that would be next or previous underneath it? Jul 11, 2017 at 14:12
  • This would help a little, but it's still far from ideal. Previous/next navigation should only be used if the data is actually sequential.
    – user101673
    Jul 11, 2017 at 17:43
  • 1
    @user3330820 It might make sense if the pages are designed to be read in order (and most people would want to do this) -- a bit like chapter/section headings. Even then, being able to jump to the 4th page (to carry on where you left off) would be good. If the different pages are more-or-less independent of each other, it would help by using the names.
    – TripeHound
    Jul 12, 2017 at 11:23
  • "Navigate blindly" is a great phrase. When you show the user all of the nav options together they can compare their options and decide whether there's one they want. Viewing them individually, they flip through the whole set and only then try to remember them all and decide which is their best option. Aug 11, 2017 at 14:17

In your case (if it's not possible to implement a secondary navigation) I'd at least provide a horizontal bar above the content which lists the rest of the services links.

Be sure to style them different (current/active, non-active).

Responsiveness: Either as list with 100% width or as dropdown.

Example: enter image description here


I think is debatable if the user should navigate between different services after he landed on that page on purpose.

Take for example a website with insurance services having 3 main categories: personal, home and car insurance. If you as an user need a car insurance, why should you navigate between all three? If you click by mistake on another service you can always get back using the browser, no?

Of course there are a lot of situations when a navigation between categories is mandatory, but think about my example from above. There might be a case of business strategy not to let the user easily move to another page, but to accomplish a certain action.

  • Unrelated to the question, but a little feedback on answering: Try to use visual representations or text formatting in your future answers (like marking one sentence bold). It will make it easier for people to read them.
    – Big_Chair
    Oct 10, 2017 at 15:02

Do the individual services need to be on individual pages? there are other patterns that you might investigate.

You could use tabs, this gives clear navigational controls however dependant upon what you want to present. If you have a lot of copy you might consider collapsable panels (an accordion) so that all the services are displayed upon the main page.

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