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Are there any studies or data that show sticky navigation elements are effective at producing click through, for example .... http://gawker.com/

I"m thinking about putting one in, but wanted some references before running my own split test.

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Hi Wok, can you add more details about what you are referring to as "stick navigation"? –  Nadine Schaeffer Sep 19 '11 at 21:47
    
position fixed elements, i made a typo, i meant sticky navigation. –  Wok Sep 20 '11 at 1:55
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I don't have any data to answer your question. I can however give you my opionion: sticky navigation stinks. It is not natural, it feels very annoying: I cycle my scroll wheel, the screen scrolls, except this annoying sticky things that says: You know what, I am just gonna ignore what you just did there and claim part of your screen and force you to give attention to me! Oh I so hate that. –  Bart Gijssens Sep 20 '11 at 13:26
    
Yeah, i could relate to that, but i've just notice that its becoming more persistent, especially now that older browsers are dying. Facebook now has a sticky top element, that follows you as you scroll. So i just wonder if the trend is warranted. –  Wok Sep 22 '11 at 16:49
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1 Answer

Fixed navigation works great for webapps, not so much for websites.

I see websites like areas where content is king, where users go to read/watch/hear information. The purpose of a website to be informative and is some cases entertaining. When I read, I hate to have a top navigation which only shows me that I can go back to the homepage, or click a new category to read/see articles or pages from that section.

On the other hand, webapps are application that give me, the user, more functionality. Take gmail for example:my gmail account.
I really like the fact that I don't have to scroll up in order to delete some messages. That would be a waste of time, and since I already am familiar with the menubar, I have no need for contextual menus or other UI overload to get what I want done fast.

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What about e-commerce site? Does it annoy you that a sticky menu that contains all the core categories is on top? –  Marek Andreánsky Mar 16 at 13:09
    
Depends. If I am shopping for computer electronics and the menu contains baby product categories as well, then yes, maybe. Anything that is not useful immediately for me could just as well stay at the top of the page. –  Vlad Nicula Mar 17 at 12:31
    
You're right, the base categories have to be intelligently designed so that they do not confuse the visitor. What about a smaller secondary menu beneath the first that would contain the adjacent subcategories ? –  Marek Andreánsky Mar 17 at 12:44
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