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  1. #1
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    I have read that right hand menus are more effective in web design because the user leaves the mouse cursor near the scroll bar for the majority of time.

    Most sites still have left-hand menus or have gone to a three column layout with menus on both sides. I am trying to get your opinion on which you feel is better.

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    Wayne Luke
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  2. #2
    ********* Scotland Saltire's Avatar
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    I had it pointed out to me in school once that people always read from left to right, therefore the menu being in the left is always noticed while the person is reading the content. However, I'm easy about right menus too.

  3. #3
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    Unless you have a site that fits to the user's screen resolution, you have to think about that too. Some visitors may not even be able to see the right hand menu, and will wonder how to navigate the site. However if you design with 640x400 in mind, you'll be fine.

    Personally, I dont have any particular preference, as long as I can easily navigate the site

    Sparkie


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  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard jonese's Avatar
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    in an advertising class it was shown to us that people are:

    1. always drawn to the lightest portion of the page first.

    2. people scan a page from top left to bottom right.

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  5. #5
    Kat's Meow Senior ******* WebKat's Avatar
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    There are many web sites that I have gone to where their logo, highlights, what's new, poll and the menu is on the right...and I have to scroll back and forth.

    So until the day comes when everyone has been given 'free' a larger screen resolution - also design for the others in mind.

    Unless the site Really,Really catches my eye I won't see enough to keep me there...another lost viewer!

    I doubt that I will return or refer it to others due to such competition on the web...I'll just find another similar web site!

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  6. #6
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Thanks for your input. While I haven't yet decided where to put the menu at, I have decided that the page will automatically scale to the users browser width up to 1024 X 768. Anyone with a resolution higher than that will have a centered page. Screen width and height won't be a problem because the page will know them before hand. . Of course this limits backwards compatibility with pre-version 4 browsers but the older browsers wouldn't be able to handle 2/3rds of the technology I am developing anyways.

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    Wayne Luke
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  7. #7
    Kat's Meow Senior ******* WebKat's Avatar
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    'Content' will ultimately keep me at web sites no matter where the menu is located...My bookmarks can attest to that - although I like the navigation on the left!

    And you are right about technology expanding so that earlier browsers and monitors will become a thing of the past...so you have to look ahead and design accordingly.

    But I'm finding web sites are getting so similar in style, color and format that it is hard to differentiate between one site from another...So seeing a menu on the 'right' is almost like a breath of fresh air


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    WebKat's PawPrints
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Guru prequel's Avatar
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    I am no pro but lately i have been designing all my web sites with menus on both sides... with the most important links at the top left and least important on the bottom right...

    like on my site http://www.eva2000.com

  9. #9
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    How considerate of web designers to use bleeding edge technology and ignore users who are not on version 4+. After all, we are not real people with real money to spend are we?

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    Webmaster of Gib-Online Dot COM (or webmistress for that matter!)
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  10. #10
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    I have decided to build a site with a multi-tiered menuing system. Since my site is about web applications and how to use the internet and company internet to facilitate your work, the first menu will look similar to the menu bars in the web browser. IE users will get an IE menu bar with drop downs, flat buttons and similar stylings. Netscape users will get a Netscape style bar with the same features. Other incidental menus and announcements will show up on the left for users with less than 800 X 600 resolution by default. This is to prevent cluttering of the screen. Others will have incidental menus and announcements on both sides. Then if the user registers for the site they will be able to pick a layout and theme that suits their tastes and needs and fits their screen, I plan to have at least three different interesting themes available at inception and will add more as time goes by.

    This of course makes the site incredibly complex but that is the kind of challenge you have when building offline applications.
    This also gives me topics for about 10 different tutorials and articles to launch the site with.

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    Wayne Luke
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  11. #11
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    SOunds great, I can't wait to see it.
    It really annoys me though when I go to a website and it says "optimised for version $+ - if you haven't got it get witht he times and upgrade". I have got it at home but at work we are on Windows 3 and we cannot install any software. I just think some designers are not aware of this fact.

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    Webmaster of Gib-Online Dot COM (or webmistress for that matter!)
    www.gib-online.com
    The Rock of Gibraltar on the WEB



  12. #12
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Unfotunately my topic doesn't translate well to older browsers in that most of the integration won't happen. Netscape won't support some ideas like dynamically editing MS-Office documents within the Browser window but I am hoping version 5 has some of the features needed. IE 3 is a modular interface like 4 and 5 so will be able to handle some of it.

    I will be presenting a scaled down version of the site for older browsers but they will be able to see a lot of the major features due to the fact that I will be presenting just straight HTML to the them and most features are handled server-side. The only problem I can foresee is that some of the examples won't work properly.

    This of course will not prohibit people with older browsers from reading the articles and tutorials. Then they can make up their own minds whether or not to upgrade.

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    Wayne Luke
    Internet Media Provider


    [This message has been edited by wluke (edited March 16, 2000).]

  13. #13
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    I think a lot of them will have to upgrade anyway.. as many of the version 3 and below browsers are starting to have trouble with certificates and visiting certain sites (such as hotmail).

    I've heard a lot of people say that they expect the general surfer population to upgrade their browsers because of this inconvenience..

    So maybe you won't have to work as diligently as you thought

    Sparkie

  14. #14
    SitePoint Enthusiast oneafrikan's Avatar
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    Howdy all.
    Wluke - thanx for the great post - being a relative newbie I'm amazed at what some folk chat about and it gets me thinking that I want to be able to do the same. Learning as I go, the process is slow - but what's the use of complaining?

    Can you give any tips on what your'e doing - where to go, what to read etc. I certainly would be much obliged.

    Could you also post the url of the site your'e working on, or mail it to me if it's against the forums rules.
    Thanks in anticipation.
    G

    tmberwolf@icon.co.za

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  15. #15
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    At the URL I am working on there is just a placeholder page now. All my work is being done on a webserver installed on my local machine currently. I will make a post asking for reviews in the Review forum when the site is publicly available.

    My favorites list is too extensive to go into in a lot of detail but some of the sites I visit regularly include this one and: www.articlecentral.com - Articles from around the web involving web development.
    www.bratta.com - Dynamic HTML, Articles and tutorials.
    http://msdn.microsoft.com - Microsoft Developer's Network
    www.aspin.com - ASP Resource Index http://cgi.resourceindex.com - CGI Resource Index
    www.4guysfromrolla.com - ASP tutorials and Articles.
    www.coolhomepages.com - Lots of different layouts and website solutions for inspiration.
    http://developer.netscape.com - Netscape's developer network.
    www.webreview.com - Articles on building, promoting and marketing webpages. Similar to Webmaster-resources.
    www.eboz.com - Marketing Information
    http://wdvl.com - General Web development Articles covering all the interlinking technologies.
    www.asptoday.com - ASP tutorials and articles. Maintained by Wrox Publishing group.

    There are many others but the information starts overlapping. These are all high quality sites and offer good information and tutorials.


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    Wayne Luke
    Internet Media Provider

  16. #16
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    You seem to not understand what I mean. I am not saying I do not wish to use a version 4+ browser, but that I HAVEN"T GOT THE CHOICE. I am restricted to what software is on the network. And yes, you are correct in saying certificates etc are outdates as we already have that problem, but I work for an academic institution which is short of money and resources, so it is not as easy as saying - UPGRADE! and it will happen. As it happens we are still on Windows 3 and half our software is not Y2K compliant. But there is nothing I can do but manage as best as I can. I don't care if I don't see all the fancy stuff on websites as long as there are no errors and I get the info.


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    Webmaster of Gib-Online Dot COM (or webmistress for that matter!)
    www.gib-online.com
    The Rock of Gibraltar on the WEB



  17. #17
    SitePoint Member
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    I tend to keep my table of contents on the left hand side as much as possible...

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    suzielopes@yahoo.com
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  18. #18
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Alot of this will not matter after a while, since almost everyone i know own a scrolling mouse, there's no need to keep the mouse on the right side anymore. To me it makes no difference as long as i like the site.

    [This message has been edited by viZor (edited March 30, 2000).]


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