[thelist] Navigation preferences

Javier Velasco [mantruc] javier at msm.cl
Fri Oct 26 16:14:20 CDT 2001

Schaz Stevens wrote:
> I'm just about to start the redesign of the company I work for's site and
> was wondering what the preference is for navigation - top or left?????

There's a study that says people are more used to left navigation menus:

Developing Schemas for the Location of Common Web Objects
       By Michael Bernard 

But most of the site's i've seen lately use top main nav, however,
according to my experience, it depends on the project (as explained by

One trick i do while wireframing (scribbling on paper) is to solve the
navigation problems from the deepest page of your site...

To make it clearer, if you have a site that is three levels deep in
hierarchy, you'll need three navigation menus... right? Then it's easier
to design the menus from a page that must display all three of them on
screen, to see how they will accomodate the number of buttons and the
size of their labels. It's important that the different menus make it
clear that one is child of the other... then you start escalating the
map up, shaving menus off until you get to the homepage.

This is an excellent study on navigation systems:

Foltz, Mark. Designing Navigable Information Spaces. Master's thesis,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, May 1998.


About wireframes:

Boxes and Arrows: Defining Information Architecture Deliverables
  by Christina Wodke


good luck Schaz!


As for isaac's designs, i'll never be ashamed of publically stating my
admiration :)

Javier Velasco M.      -               nurun Chile
Information Architect  -       http://www.nurun.cl
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