Website Strategy: Best Navigation Menu Positions
Ever since I had the opportunity of using the Internet around 1994, I’ve seen almost all possible website navigation menus to this day. The navigation menus were placed top left below the corporate logos, they were placed horizontally below the banner, the top right corner replacing the empty banner space, on the right side to allow focus on content, and now even experimenting by placing it just above the fold.
Without a doubt website navigation menus have come a long way since then and with Flash, it makes navigation menus more experimental than ever. But as experimental or cool as it can be, it still should be practical to the website target market.
A top horizontal website menu should only be used when the client doesn’t have that many landing pages on their website. I can’t advise the best number of main links but I can tell you that the number should be dependant on the priority of the website.
A left website navigation is something you can normally never go wrong. It’s the basic position and by far still one of the most strategic because when we read most websites in English, our eye scans from left to right.
A right navigation menu like what you find on most blogs is made that way because a blogs main focus or concern should mainly be one thing; its content. Before the intrusion of the large variety in Pay-Per-Click advertising, blogs were just about the content and being famous was about writing to attract. Today the menu positions found in blogs are shifting because of its maturing into narrower topics and to be align with its company website.
The website menu position I’d really like to try is placing it just above the fold. My theory is to stealthily force visitors to read the more important content before being able to browse the website. It’ll be a slight hiccup but it won’t be an annoying one because it’s still very accessible as it’s placed just above the fold.
The headache of website navigation positions today especially for corporate websites is that it requires more than one position. This normally is caused by the deep level website architecture corporate websites have. But I’ll maybe talk about that in the next website strategy.
On the account of deep level website architectures, nowadays we need to combine different types of menu positions to fulfill this concern. But no matter how much we mix and match, we always have to remember one thing; is it practical?
Take a step back into a few person’s shoes and think how’d they use it if you tried mixing and matching the way you plan. Will it fit your targeted user?
We can’t have a website navigation menu that’ll work more on teenagers than adults now, can we?
What are the non-practical and hard to use menu positions you’ve come about today and why?
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