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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member Maximus's Avatar
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    Question What makes a good header/navigation bar?

    Hi all,

    Can anyone give me advice on what makes for a good top navigation bar. I am currently thinking about changing the navigation bar which I have maybe to a image with hotspots. Is this the best idea?

    I have asked my friends to analyse the site and they all think that I should change the navigation bar but no one can really tell me how?

    Any help you can give me would be appreciated.
    Maximus
    Sheffield Sport
    http://www.solidsport.co.uk

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy redemption's Avatar
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    first off you could give us the link to your website...

    as for whether an image with hotspots is the best idea, i'd say there's no best idea... so long as it's a clean understandable navigation interface it pretty much works!

  3. #3
    SitePoint Member Maximus's Avatar
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    My URL is :

    http://www.solidsport.co.uk

    Sorry, it is part of my signature and I thought people would have noticed it there.
    Maximus
    Sheffield Sport
    http://www.solidsport.co.uk

  4. #4
    blonde.... Sarah's Avatar
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    just had a peek and yes I would have to agree with your friends the header has to go (also the new forum flickering thing got to me too!) the rest looks clean and clear

    Anyway as you site is fairly clean you could just try the same approach but taking away the [] and colouring in the table (to match teh green line below) and using the rollover effect you already use but changing the whole table cell aswell - that is fairly simple but I think would like alot better.

    The other way is to use dhtml menus like at http://software.xfx.net/mainindex.htm easy to use and looks great...

    if you need more help shout

    Sarah
    Regular user

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    Time to sort this out

    Content vs function
    Your header is for things people can read, not do. For instance, generally speaking a "search" section is more useful if it's integrated into every page as opposed to being a section all it's own.

    Primary vs secondary content
    Similarly things like contact, feedback, privacy policies, etc should not go in the header but in a "secondary navigation" elsewhere.

    Keep links minimal
    Generally 4-5 is a nice target (even sites like SitePoint with thousands of pages achieve this), but 8 should be your maximum (users cannot handle more then 10).

    So, if we take your site using these BASIC rules (there are tonnes more) it'd look more like this:

    -Remove home (your logo should return you home). This is a function and should be integrated into every page
    -Remove headlines (you're already displaying them). To get there users would naturally read your headlines then click something like "all news"
    -Remove Poll. Poll is function. It's already on the page. For old polls, have a link under your poll: old polls or archives or something
    -forum stays
    -banners could stay, but it doesn't seem like something people would go to your site FOR, ya know? Your header should have stuff people WANT, not something they might finda musing, generally speaking.
    -Links can stay
    -Guestbook could stay, but it would be better integrated into the site
    -chat can stay
    -Fan of the month would be better integrated into your page (www.thinkdan.com is a great example). This is "first impression" content. Something you want on your front page.
    -comedy corner... Um, shouldn't banners be in here? Having gone into this section, make the images clickable as well
    -helpusout/feedback... This is the same function... Integrate the two or separate them completely.

    That's my first run, hope this helps
    SVP Marketing, SoCast SRM
    Personal blog: Strategerize
    Twitter: @jeremywright

  6. #6
    .net install meltdown
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    Well,

    I'll have to disagree w/ Jeremy on this one (sorry J. ).

    I think its a good idea to have a home link, as less experienced surfers don't always know to click on the logo to go home.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy redemption's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Maximus

    Sorry, it is part of my signature and I thought people would have noticed it there.
    oops sorry i missed it... anyway u probably should make it a hyperlink... use {url}your url{/url} with [ and ] instead of { and }(but u probably know this already...
    Last edited by redemption; Oct 17, 2001 at 22:03.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Addict cyberprince's Avatar
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    When I look at your top navigational bar all that comes to mind is its way too many. NOt many ideas to arrange all that content.

    Why not try using a left navigational bar. or perhaps divide the many links into a few MAIN categories, then use javascript for pop down menus.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Member
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    Originally posted by Sarah
    The other way is to use dhtml menus like at http://software.xfx.net/mainindex.htm
    Whoa, that site's amazing!!!! Thanks! I'm so using their pop-up killer...

  10. #10
    What? Maelstrom's Avatar
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    [QUOTE}
    The other way is to use dhtml menus like at http://software.xfx.net/mainindex.htm easy to use and looks great...

    if you need more help shout

    [/QUOTE]

    I have to say I am impressed. That is a great looking navigation system. The only thing I didn't like was the right clicking menu. There is no add to favorites.
    Maelstrom Personal - Apparition Visions
    Development - PhP || Mysql || Zend || Devshed
    Unix - FreeBSD || FreeBsdForums || Man Pages
    They made me a sitepoint Mentor - Feel free to PM me or Email me and I will see if I can help.


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