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The best place for your website navigation?

 
 
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paul
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:55 pm    Post subject: The best place for your website navigation? Reply with quote

I am working on a new website at the moment and I was talking to someone on another forum about it and he essentially told me that left hand navigation was a thing of the past, and that it should be on the right or, better still, across the top.

I was a bit taken aback. Why on earth would I want my navigation to be on the right rather than the left? I know blogs do it frequently, but it just didn't seem right to me. The BBC have their navigation on the left but apparently that's all up in the air and they are going to have a re-design that will take them to a top-based navigation. The Guardian website is quite a good example of how that can work.

The case against vertical navigation is well put forward here:
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/01/11/the-case-against-vertical-navigation/

...but then there's also a good counter-argument to this, at:
http://astheria.com/design/in-defense-of-vertical-navigation

What are your thoughts? Is there a right or wrong on this or is it just down to personal preference? Or does it depend on the site?

Paul
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Kay
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd not realised that left-hand nav bars are a thing of the past. As far as I'm concerned, the purpose of navigation is to enable people to find things on the website. It's good usability if they can find things and the navigation on your site is perfectly clear.

Anyway, what's the purpose of the website? It's holiday property rental, so I would say that it doesn't need bleeding edge design. The vast majority of your customers will prefer something that looks and works in a familiar way.
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Spiderhousepr
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so many websites now have them on either or both....

my preference:

very top, right of site > small links to login/signup/profile/account type links

middle nav bar > main links (maybe categories etc) / search / cart

left > more detailed links (possibly categories)

bottom > small links (about us, advertise, contacts, T&C etc)

Depending on the site you might eliminate one of the areas completely...
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Techboy
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The type and position of the navigation depends on the levels, amound and complexity of the navigation required.

One important thing to remember is that studies have shown that people look at a website like an F

By this I mean that users look at the top, the left hand side and the top left to middle of a site first.

The users eye is drawn to the bottom-right, bottom and right side of a page last.

This is one reason why not many dites have navigation on the right of the page.

If you add a heatmap tool to your website, you will be able to see where users click and navigate as they use your site. You will quickly see the F pattern emerge.
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thinkingforward
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have them on the left on mine! Works for me!
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eonic
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:38 pm    Post subject: Re: The best place for your website navigation? Reply with quote

paul wrote:
he essentially told me that left hand navigation was a thing of the past, and that it should be on the right or, better still, across the top.
Paul


It is a good point these days navigation does work well on the right. But then again many publishing websites use this for advertisements or recent posts.

If you used our CMS at [link removed - please see board rules] you wouldnt have to worry about hardcoding the menu in as we use moduler content types which let you drag and drop menu positions on the fly.....
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