Monday, May 19, 2008

Moving on up . . .

A site is more usable if global navigation exists. And, site visitors should be able to count on finding your global navigation in the same spot throughout your site.

The global navigation bar* on the new web designs for W&M is moving - up!

We're working with on- and off-campus design professionals now to create the revised designs with the global navigation bar moved to the top. Of course, we'll post the updates to the blog. :)

I'm not a designer - don't know exactly how the updated designs will look, but this new placement of the global navigation bar will be consistently applied. And that's a good thing.

*Global navigation on the new W&M site includes the topics: About W&M, Academics, Admission, Research, Campus Life, Athletics, News & Events, Giving.

posted by Susan Evans


Anonymous said...

Well, you win some, you lose some. Many will be happy that the nav bar is moved up, but I trusted the judgment of the design team. I'm pretty sure that we will see more, not fewer, global nav bars right where the designers originally suggested, in the middle. Amazon, et al, spend buhzillions figuring out where the nav bar works best. Could have worked for us, too.

Anonymous said...

I beg to differ with Anonymous: Amazon's nav bar is not in the middle, it's in org-chart order with the customer at the top of the hierarchy. The global nav bar is no more than 20% down the first-impression view. Amazon fits all its navigation into the top 30% of the first-impression-view with a high percentage of Tufte-esqe 'data ink', leaving 70% of the first-impression view available for useful content. In terms of both the navigation getting out of the way of content, as measured by what percentages of first impression views are devoted to content versus navigation, and the usability of the navigation interface, Amazon does much better than the design team. I guess that's why Amazon's designer's make the big bucks.

Certainly, the design team might want to point out parallels to the great sites, but their nav bar placement isn't one of them.