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View Poll Results: Which method of navigation do you prefer?

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  • Left side/right side menubar

    18 51.43%
  • Buttons on top of page

    8 22.86%
  • Javascript drop-down menu on top of page

    2 5.71%
  • Other

    7 20.00%
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast TMac's Avatar
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    Preferred Navigation Type

    I'm designing a startup site for my global web firm but I'm not very sure which navigation type that people find easier to use. Please take the poll and feel free to add comments.
    ~TMac

  2. #2
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Any except the Javascript menus. If you rely on Javascript solely (or anything other than HTML/CSS for that matter) for navigation purposes, what about your visitors with scripting disabled, or those using nontraditional browsers/text-only browsers that don't understand JS?

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Hello,

    On my site, I've decided to use a JavaScript menu bar down the left-hand side. I understand that there are potential accessibility problems there, but my audience is just friends and family. [img]images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

    Compuwhiz7
    Last edited by cfm; Aug 25, 2003 at 09:19. Reason: I accidentally gave "JavaScript" two As.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot Sacher's Avatar
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    i read in a local computer magazine once that you can have the fanciest navigation in the world but if no one understands it - its worthless. so thats why, on my site, its the traditional side menu. it doesnt take an einstein to work it out - just why i have a site in the first place lol.

  5. #5
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    I chose 'Left side/right side menubar' in your poll, but I would consider other options except navigation that relied on Javascript. Whatever method you choose, be sure to do some sort of usability testing... ask a few people that fall within your target audience to navigate through your site. That's the best way to find out how well your navigation works.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard jax502's Avatar
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    For me, I prefer the side menu because it's just easier that way. Especially if it is on the right side, that way if I'm reading text from top to bottom, I don't have to move my mouse all over the screen since the navigation is close to the scroll bar... Now for left handed people, they would probably prefer left, but I'm not sure about that.
    jax502

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy redemption's Avatar
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    Left or right side menubar works best for me.

  8. #8
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jax502
    Now for left handed people, they would probably prefer left, but I'm not sure about that.
    I'm left-handed and prefer the right side. I also prefer a graphics tablet to a mouse though

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot Sacher's Avatar
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    im right handed but prefer menus down the right side as well. probably as a result of trying to keep all those digital chickies happy on trillian lol.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Zealot JaredR.'s Avatar
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    for me it depends on the site. most of the time my preference is for the navigation to be on the top of the page just underneath the header logo. as for why i prefer this navigation is beyond me. it just looks cleaner and leaves more room on the rest of the page for either content or to use as white space.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast webmonster's Avatar
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    Something I always try to think about is if the menu will ever have additional items in the future. If the answer is yes and you expect to add more menu items, than I would go with the left side menu. If you have navigation along the top and it initially looks awesome with your overall site design then down the road you want to add a forum page or whatever, than it is going to be tough to just put that into the horizontal menu along the tope without stretching things out. If you stick to left side vertical menu, it is easy to add a new menu item without affecting the design.

    If you have a site that you are sure will never have any menu additions than I think it is okay to use top/horizontal menu. I think most users are comfortable with the navigation along the left or the top. But I do agree with the earlier post about having a complicated menu system. Keep it simple and HTML based and make everyone happy!

  12. #12
    Yugo full of anvils bronze trophy hillsy's Avatar
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    Tabs like amazon.com Although I don't mind most of the other ones. Notable exceptions are Javascript dropdowns - I hate those...
    that's me!
    Now A Pom. And a Plone Nut
    Broccoli Martinez Airpark

  13. #13
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    It depends upon how the site is designed but generally I don't care much for DHTML dropdown menus within a site because typically you have to use the mouse to expand the menu before you can access the data.

  14. #14
    Forensic SEO Consultant Webnauts's Avatar
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    There is already a thread about this topics, with very good stuff!

    Really worth to have a look: http://www.sitepointforums.com/showt...0&pagenumber=1

  15. #15
    SitePoint Member Altern's Avatar
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    I generally prefer left-hand navigation bar, especially when the site has two or more levels of navigation. The biggest problem with having a navigation bar at the top (perhaps with a visual appearance similar to tabs) is that you can't expose the second level choices*. Scanning a list of links is also harder when they are laid out horizontally and it's hard to add the third level without resorting to sidebars.

    And finally, people aren't accustomed to changing horizontal navigation bars. In other words, horizontal navigation bar shouldn't be replaced with something else when the visitor clicks an option on it. With sidebar navigation, it's much more acceptable to do this.

    The advantage of horizontal navigation is that it leaves much more space for the content. Also, by presenting them as tabs, you can have very intuitive top-level navigation.

    (* Of course, it would be possible to use JavaScript or CSS to reveal the options on mouse over, but that approach probably introduces more problems than it solves.)

  16. #16
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I chose "Other" because I like whatever works in the overall design.
    Michael J. Swartz
    Founder and Senior Web Architect
    Bay Area Web Design

  17. #17
    The knight who said ni! RockyShark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webmonster
    Something I always try to think about is if the menu will ever have additional items in the future. If the answer is yes and you expect to add more menu items, than I would go with the left side menu. If you have navigation along the top and it initially looks awesome with your overall site design then down the road you want to add a forum page or whatever, than it is going to be tough to just put that into the horizontal menu along the tope without stretching things out. If you stick to left side vertical menu, it is easy to add a new menu item without affecting the design.

    If you have a site that you are sure will never have any menu additions than I think it is okay to use top/horizontal menu. I think most users are comfortable with the navigation along the left or the top. But I do agree with the earlier post about having a complicated menu system. Keep it simple and HTML based and make everyone happy!
    Couldn't agree more. And couldn't have said it better myself!

    The worst thing you could do use use tricky navigation - javascript, DHTML or even Java. Keep it simple, stupid!!

  18. #18
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I disagree with the dhtml/javascript arguments.
    I am the webmaster of a resort that has lots of pages and I needed a navigation system that could expand and contract as content changes. I have lots of links all pages can be accessed from the navigation. It keeps it simple and clean and fits inside 800 x 600 with no scrolling. To address those who may not be able to see it I have a no script tag with all the major links and I have a normal html link to a site map that uses only html for links. I can add and subtract navigation in 2 seconds with out any redesign or graphics work. I use a 3rd party vendor for the product and it is stable and cross browser compatable. So far 0 complaints from my users in the last 6 months its been up. I have approximately 30k uniques per month.
    http://www.eransworld.com -bored look at my boring website

  19. #19
    The knight who said ni! RockyShark's Avatar
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    Fair point colorspots - I'll modify my original statement. I was referring to javascript drop-down menus as per the poll on top of this thread. Hate those. But I do use fly-out menus like you have on your site. They're quite useful, as long as people without javascript can still get around (like you have done).

    Maybe i should read a bit more carefully in future!

  20. #20
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    I use PostNuke to manage most of my content heavy sites (or the one's I'm just too lazy to do in HTML) and I use a mix of 4 menu blocks under the page head graphic or down the right.


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