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SIGIA-L Mail Archives: SIGIA-L: Global nav during a process?

SIGIA-L: Global nav during a process?

Date: Mon Jul 23 2001 - 12:58:54 EDT

Hi all -

Here's a thorny problem I've run across many times and now face yet again.
I'd love to hear ideas, opinions, and data.

The question: Should global navigation (in this case, the top levels of
hierarchical nav) appear on the page when the user is within a process
(anything from email newsletter sign-up to search to checkout)?

On one side:
- Reducing "interruptability." If a user is within a transaction, don't
distract them with global nav that isn't relevant to the task. Let them
explicitly cancel the task to return to the non-process state.
- Real estate. Processes like checkout often require more screen real
estate, which global nav can sometimes hog.

On the other side:
- Escape hatch. On the Web, users leave a process not through canceling,
but by simply going somewhere else. Global nav should always be there so
that users have control.
- Consistency. If the global nav appears and disappears throughout the
experience, it's less reliable and learnable, and potentially disorienting

I'm trying to pose the question in a neutral way so as not to reveal my
bias. :-)


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