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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    dropdown menus and new windows- good or evil?

    I was just wondering what your opinions were of drop down menus (not the dhtml kind) I've heard bad things about them, but I'm really considering putting it into a design.

    on another note, how do you guys feel about new windows opening? Here's what I was thinking about doing..

    1. homepage --> click on link to a second page
    2. from the second page ---> morelinks... click to open content in a new window
    3. new windows ---> close, choose another link from second page, or navagate through a drop down menu..

    what do you guys think, good or bad idea?
    Last edited by FuDOG; Aug 25, 2001 at 19:12.
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  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict rush78's Avatar
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    hmmm..i personally don't agree with too many new windows opening...i believe i'll get lost along the way...plus i don't like moving around diffrent browsers much.
    But i'm ok with drop down menus...depending on your use it could be a user friendly thing ..>unlike that number of new windows!!

    Hope i've been of help
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  3. #3
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    is 2 too much?
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  4. #4
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    2 pages I mean one new window + existing one.
    Last edited by FuDOG; Aug 25, 2001 at 19:02.
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  5. #5
    Former Staff Member silver trophy Adam P.'s Avatar
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    is 2 what too much?

    Anyways, I don't think drop-down menus are bad at all. Just make sure that you set them up so that they are easy to read. A good example is the ones right here at the SitePoint Forums at the bottom of every page. I use them a lot when I want to quickly go from one forum to another.

    And NEW WINDOWS = UPSET and sometimes CONFUSED/DISTRESSED users. Bad idea. Avoid them if you can. Sometimes a small window with a few paragraphs of content isn't bad, but you're better off avoiding them.
    SPF Mentor/Advisor 2001-2003
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  6. #6
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    here's an example of what I was thinking about

    http://www.glassdog.com/designers/index.html

    existing page with links.. (more than two links)

    and then when you click on a link, a new window opens up with content.
    close button on the bottom and a drop down menu.

    I read somewhere that drop down menus were bad because the user has to click on something beforehe can see the rest of the links.. but that doesn't apply when you've already seen all the choices on another page right?
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  7. #7
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    I've seen it done before. Doesn't frustrate me much.
    But is your initial window of any use now that the 2nd one is opened?
    I don't know about others but whenever a 2nd window pops up, I will close the first..
    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

  8. #8
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    yeah it will be.. I guess it's a bad idea how about this..

    1. home page.. click a link to main section of site..
    2. sub page.. more links.. click link
    3. content page... click next button, or back to the sub page...

    note: all the main section links will be present on every page..

    how does that sound.. no more new windows, but no local navagation on every single page.. it's not that bad, is it? I have about 9 to 14 links for local navation.. it seems just "crammed up inthere" I've seen many good sites do this, design is kinky, surf station.. just don't know if you guys like, or disklike it.
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  9. #9
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    I don't quite follow what you mean.

    Basically I feel that the user ought to be able to roam around your site freely without having to go back to the previous page just to select the next destination.
    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
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    I think when used effectively drop-down menus can be a good thing. I also think they can be misused. Small sites (under 10 pages) have no need for drop-down menus. However, sites such as SitePoint coudn't possibly put all of the links on every page without sacrificing a large amount of screen real estate. In that case, dropdowns are great.

    I also think DHTML dropdowns offer much more usability and integration than the JavaScript form element drop-downs.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast allusion's Avatar
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    Originally posted by FuDOG
    here's an example of what I was thinking about

    http://www.glassdog.com/designers/index.html
    Wow, the guy on the right is using a 200mhz Pentium... For what's obviously an older page, the design is very impressive.

  12. #12
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    yeah, "cool site of the year for 1997" or something.. definately was beyond his time, although his site has some issues about updateing stuff and some usability issues. (took me quite some time to figure out it was a site about design when I entered glassdog.com and then the sliding menu doesn't fit on small resolutions (he putposely designed for 640x400, but the menu doesn't fit in 8000x600 sometimes) but anyways..

    see, the problem I have with drop-down menus in DHTML is that they don't extend down beyond the end of the page.. the regular javascript ones do.. but then of course, I could always use DHTMLcentral's script.. god I hate debating with myself.
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  13. #13
    SitePoint Enthusiast allusion's Avatar
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    Some of the things they do at dhtmlcentral just blow me away. They really make flash seem like a thing of the past. (sometimes )

    I'm not familar with your site individually, but chances are their menu will suit your needs quite well.

    Be sure to let everyone know what you decide on!

  14. #14
    1-800-JMULDER JMulder's Avatar
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    I tihnk using popup-windows in your site is a bad idea, I always want the visitor to have the feeling they stay inside a room, and with a popup window they leave it =)

    I do use popup windows when it comes to linking to a forum, most visitors visit my site, read the news and then visit the forum. With a popup window the forum can load while they're reading news..

    Currently my forum doesnt popup in a new window? Who..awh doh!
    Jeroen Mulder

    w: www.jeroenmulder.com


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