SIGIA-L Mail Archives: [Sigia-l] Rollover Navigation Submenus: Usable or not?
[Sigia-l] Rollover Navigation Submenus: Usable or not?
I think what you're describing is how http://www.msnbc.com behaves. Go to a
specific article and you'll see the flyouts on the left side.
Our experience with observing people work on sites like this is that it is
clumsy at best and doesn't help people really understand what's available.
Our recommendation to clients thinking about these types of navigation
elements is to first ask this question: Why does someone want to leave this
page for another on the site?
In many cases, the client sees improvement by putting the relevant
information right on the page. Or, they can choose a subset of critical
links and put them in the main copy well of the page (see the "What similar
items do customers ultimately buy after viewing this item?" section on this
page: http://tinyurl.com/7x3mu or the right-side article links and
bottom-of-page headlines on this page: http://tinyurl.com/5phmp ).
Chances are, people who have chosen a particular path in your site are only
going to want a subset of the full information on the site. Understanding
what that subset for any given page often has profound effects on the
design and it's usability.
Just my thoughts...
At 11:00 AM 12/16/2004, Jon Nakasone wrote:
>Thanks for sending the link. I believe I failed to articulate that users
>would be able to access all submenu pages from a dashboard and that the
>flyouts (thanks for pointing me to that term) would mainly exist to help
>users navigate from those submenu pages. There would also be an escape
>route back to the dashboard.
>So essentially my question is whether or not these flyouts tend to do more
>harm than good. Do users view them as a convenient navigation option, or
>does their mere presence confuse and/or aggravate them?
>Some useful tips and considerations I received from others thus far are to:
> - Make people aware that submenus exist before they take action (down
> arrow indicators, etc)
> individual browser settings
>Thank you all for your thoughtful responses.
>From: Jared M. Spool [<mailto:jspool_at_uie.com>mailto:jspool_at_uie.com]
>Sent: Wed 12/15/2004 8:58 PM
>To: Jon Nakasone; sigia-l_at_asis.org
>Subject: Re: [Sigia-l] Rollover Navigation Submenus: Usable or not?
>At 03:14 PM 12/14/2004, Jon Nakasone wrote:
> >I'm in the process of rapid prototyping a horizontal navigation using
> >buttons with DHTML rollover submenus. In the midst of this I was told
> >that this approach is shown to be consistently unusable by many users.
> >No elaboration was provided, other than this had been a recurring
> >comment in numerous usability seminars at Marketing conferences (yes,
> >Marketing conferences).
>Could've been my fault. Been saying this at marketing conferences (and IA
>Summits) for quite some time now:
>Jared M. Spool, Founding Principal
>User Interface Engineering
>4 Lookout Lane, Unit 4d
>Middleton, MA 01949
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Jared M. Spool, Founding Principal
User Interface Engineering
4 Lookout Lane, Unit 4d
Middleton, MA 01949
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