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Topic: Navigation

Avoid Category Names That Suck

December 15, 2013

Categories and hypertext act as signs and should give people a strong indication of what will happen even before they click on the link. People avoid clicking on unknown items or, even worse, ignore them all together.

Designing Effective Carousels: Create a Fanciful Amusement, Not a House of Horrors

September 14, 2013

Carousels allow multiple pieces of content to occupy a single, coveted space. This may placate corporate infighting, but on large- or small-view ports, people often scroll past carousels. A static hero or integrating content in the UI may be better solutions. But if a carousel is your hero, good navigation and content can help make it effective.

Converting Search into Navigation

March 16, 2013

Most users are unable to solve even halfway complicated problems with search. Better to redirect their efforts into more supportive user interfaces when possible.

Usability Testing of Mega-Menus

November 16, 2010

Mega-dropdown menus mainly worked well in user testing, but vague images and poor topic organization caused very low success rates in some cases.

Mega-Menus Gone Wrong

November 16, 2010

Big 2-D drop-downs can facilitate site navigation - if they're properly designed. Two examples illustrate some mega-menu usability pitfalls.

Alphabetical Sorting Must (Mostly) Die

October 4, 2010

Ordinal sequences, logical structuring, time lines, or prioritization by importance or frequency are usually better than A-Z listings for presenting options to users.

Tag Cloud Examples

March 24, 2009

Tag clouds are overused. While looking pretty, they use screen space inefficiently, and many users don't know how to use them.

Mega Menus Work Well for Site Navigation

March 23, 2009

A mega menu (a big, 2-dimensional drop-down panel) groups navigation options to eliminate scrolling and use typography, icons, and tooltips to explain users' choices.

Interaction Elasticity

December 15, 2008

Usage goes down as interaction costs increase. User motivation determines how fast demand drops, following an elasticity curve.

Site Map Usability

September 2, 2008

New user testing of site maps shows that they are still useful as a secondary navigation aide, and that they're much easier to use than they were during our research 7 years ago.

Tabs, Used Right

September 17, 2007

13 design guidelines for tab controls are all followed by Yahoo Finance, but usability suffers from AJAX overkill and difficult customization.

Breadcrumb Navigation Increasingly Useful

April 10, 2007

One line of text shows a page's location in the site hierarchy. User testing shows many benefits and no downsides to breadcrumbs for secondary navigation.

Avoid Within-Page Links

February 21, 2006

On the Web, users have a clear mental model for a hypertext link: it should bring up a new page. Within-page links violate this model and thus cause confusion.

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