Take the 2-minute tour ×
User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

This is what I mean: screenshot

The idea is that one navigation is the main one and the other one a second level.

Is it a bad idea? If so, why?

Also, which navigation should be the main one? I'm inclined to make the top nav the main one and the sidebar the second level, so that if it's in fixed position (see the previous screen scrolled down here) the user can scroll down and still move through the same application module without having to scroll all the way up.

The only downside I view in using the top nav is that it doesn't scale a lot (especially for back-office applications which could have lots and lots of modules), but I think we can handle it.

share|improve this question
    
It's only a bad idea if all navigation could be effectively handled in a single level. Top bar for top level navigation and sidebar for secondary/context sensitive/"drill down" navigation is standard. –  Ben Brocka Dec 23 '11 at 18:05

3 Answers 3

You can and should use as many navigation sections and menus as is necessary to make your application usable and intuitive.

If you would like to use your top navigation as the main, use a grouping scheme that allows you to nest the user selections. An example for a business type application would be:

Top: Departments (Accounting, Sales, Human Resources)

Side: Modules and Child Screens (Money IN/OUT, Lead Tracker, New Applicants, Department Landing Page)

share|improve this answer
    
I hadn't considered doing something like that. Thanks. –  Franco Dec 27 '11 at 0:00

I think it's fine.

An accordion menu would work as 'web designer' said in a comment and having it all in a vertical menu would allow for infinite expandability but a simple accordion menu would be cluttered - for example if you're using the bottom module in your new vertical accordion menu, you have to continually scroll past the previous modules to access the active modules features.

Given that this is an administrative application, it's likely that users would receive some kind of training rather than being allowed to jump straight in and start working. That said, the concept of having a top navigation for each module is simple enough for anyone to grasp, if it wasn't already obvious.

share|improve this answer
    
Okay. And why should the top navigation be the second level? I mean, you said "having a top navigation for each module". I was thinking of having the main navigation at the top and the module specific things on the sidebar, like I said in my post. Thanks! –  Franco Dec 23 '11 at 13:38
1  
No, I'm agreeing with you. I could have phrased it a bit better, I meant "module navigation" as in navigation between modules (first level). :-) –  Anonymous Dec 23 '11 at 21:11

If you don't have so much link put them all in top navbar, it prevents from user confusion.

If you have so much link that you don't know where to put them, have both is a good practice. In the top you can have links like contact US,*About US*,home and in the sidebar your other links.

share|improve this answer
    
It's for an administrative application. There are lots of modules: invoices, clients, quotes, cash flow, etc, etc. And each one has stuff too! We can't fit all of that in the sidebar either –  Franco Dec 23 '11 at 4:46
1  
I think the best practice for this scenario is to use accordion menu. –  UX-Geek Dec 23 '11 at 4:49

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.