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I am developing a web app with 1280px width. Planning to keep 1024 for content and remain as Menu with fixed position. On scrolling main content the menu will not scroll.

Will this be a good for user exp?

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Ashish: What devices are you catering your web app: Desktop, Tablet, Mobile? –  Shivanand Jun 5 '12 at 5:01
    
If you're web app is menu focused with a lot of menu clicks/actions I would make it stick to the screens corner. If you've got a more story oriented app where the user reads the entire screen and then clicks next/previous it can stay at its place. –  Barfieldmv Jun 5 '12 at 6:32
    
Does this question give you the answers you need, or is your question requesting something not covered there? –  JonW Jun 5 '12 at 8:45
    
@Shivanad : My target device is Desktop specifically. I am not targeting tablet and mobile. –  Ashish Agarwal Jun 5 '12 at 10:43
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4 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It sounds to me that because the menu is on the side it will occupy its space whether its there or not?

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

If this is the case I would definitely consider implementing it as a sticky component. This because the space allocated to the content will be the same whether the menu sticks to the scroll or not.

This will enhance the accessibility of the user controls without obstructing the main content.

If the menu was located at the top however we would have a different scenario and then the considerations Fresheyeball brought up definitely comes into play.

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+1 But it is possible to have content floating around a fixed position menu section with CSS. –  Benny Skogberg Jun 5 '12 at 19:49
    
@BennySkogberg thanks Benny. yea I was thinking of that as well but I thought that it would be an odd design to do so. On the top of my head I can't think of any instance that adopts that kind of layout. maybe you can? –  AndroidHustle Jun 6 '12 at 16:12
    
No not really. Not even if you have a small 3.7" screen that design wouldn't do. This kind of technique was mainly used to float a mid-section fixed image for design reason only. "Look what we can do here" as web developers said in 1998 :-) –  Benny Skogberg Jun 6 '12 at 16:55
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Depends on the usefulness of the menu. If it's extremely likely to be used frequently, yes definitely good UX. However you have to consider the size of the menu vs total screen real-estate. If you are targeting a mobile device, or small screens and your menu bar is too big, the loss of screen real estate may out-weight the convenience of the menu's persistence.

Rule of thumb is that the top 18% of controls should be maximally accesible, but again, are you willing to sacrifice the space?

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'The top 18% of controls' is quite a specific statement. Where did you hear / read this? Citing a source would be very beneficial. –  JonW Jun 5 '12 at 8:41
    
amazon.com/Designing-Mind-Simple-Understanding-Interface/dp/… they had a study to back it up I think. –  Fresheyeball Jun 5 '12 at 15:03
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I think your targeted device are desktop & laptop with resolution more than 1024 by 768. Keeping menu fixed is a good option but, for future you should add a scrollbar to menu(as nowadays done by most of ipad apps. e.g: Facebook app). So that if in future number of links increase it will not be a problem for you. According to me you should be ready for future changes & enhancement to be done.

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Surely - as a user I never like sites where one has to scroll to the top just for a click to be taken to the next page. Of course the content of the site is important, but if the user is not looking for the content on the page, that page irritates him and he would not walk an extra mile in finding the right page on that site and instead move on.

In the case of lengthy content, another idea - if considerable in your case - could be a side panel which expands on click. This would give you ample space on the screen for the content and at the same time the user would have the menu available at anytime.

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I like your idea of the side panel that expands on click. I am not sure about the first part of your answer as it is purely based on opinion and not answering the initial question, but I understand you are giving some context on the suggestion. –  Adriaan Jun 5 '12 at 19:20
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