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My non UI savy client provides me with the webpage layout he wants via powerpoint. There's a header row on top. On the left is a logo image and then a line of text that is the company name. These are about 300-400 pixels wide. To the right of that is a horizontal navigation with 5 or 6 links.

To me it seems incorrect to put the main horizontal nav on the top RIGHT of the page. Am I correct in saying it shouldn't go on the right?

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Do you have a rough layout image you can add to the question? it sound like a pretty standard navigation from your description so an image / mockup would help us understand if it's unconventional in a bad way. –  JonW Jul 5 '12 at 23:48
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Have you noticed where's the nav menu on this site? It's on the upper right part of the screen. –  edgarator Jul 6 '12 at 2:23
    
lol good point. –  Ryan Jul 6 '12 at 2:29
    
@edgarator Well spotted, although not a great counterexample :). On this site the navigation is very secondary, 99% of the time users will be working with the homepage. On most other websites that's not the case. –  Vitaly Mijiritsky Jul 6 '12 at 5:51
    
I think visibility and consistency are the most important things for navigation (i.e. easy to find) –  Captain Jul 6 '12 at 8:13

4 Answers 4

It all depends on how much content is going to be in navigation. If a fixed number of items then generally you can organise the layout to be clear of intended function to the user.

Something worth mentioning is that we have been trained/conditioned to use the left hand side of the page for navigation etc. (Often call the F layout) - when in fact the right side is equally important.

A very good article that helps to explain and demonstrate this is:

http://www.netmagazine.com/features/focus-right-hand-side

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I don't think there's a problem of having navigation bars or menus placed right or left up or down. You'll usually find them to the sides of the screen.

  • Blogs have menus usually on the right side, and horizontal navigation on top.
  • Regular web pages, have menus on the left side, and horizontal navigation on top.

But there's no rule about having navigation anywhere on the site, as long as it easily accessible and consitent you wouldn't have any problem.

I've seen a couple of websites having two horizontal menus (like UX.stackexchange.com).

I think that the valuable thing to keep in mind is to keep things organized.

Consider having multiple horizontal navigations, one could be your meta-site links, and the other your actual links to products or services.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Just make sure that Home is the first element of the list.

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Hmm, your last sentance that you've bolded - Just make sure that Home is the first element of the list I am not sure I agree. Is that a definite requirement? It's been asked on this site before: Is 'Home' button still a must? –  JonW Jul 6 '12 at 7:45

It's certainly unusual to have the primary navigation on the top right, and this may be a good reason to move to the more conventional approach. Consider future expansion: if later on, the site grows and you want to add more pages, you could then add a left-hand nav which would have a closer visual association with the primary nav.

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There is nothing wrong in placing the main navigation on the top-right of the page. It's a standard way for structuring. Most of the websites/webapps will be having the same type of navigation.

7 to 8 years back people love to have the left hand side navigation and after years of study on usability it is proved that the elements on the right hand side will be having more focus except the logo on the left top. Because people were trained to read from left to right and once the user lands on the page, he eyes without any intention will look at the logo.

Take, for example, these simple dialog boxes. Which will get the best positive reaction by users? I’ll tell you: it's the one with the positive actionable button on the right. This is because users trust that the next step will pull them forward in the journey they are on.enter image description here

Take Twitter’s redesign as an example. The most important information to the user can be found on the right-hand side. It’s argued that most right-handed users would then trust the comments and individuals presented in this conversation. enter image description here

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While you make some good points, you don't cite any references or studies. Comments like "after years of study on usability it is proved that the elements on the right hand side will be having more focus except the logo on the left top" can you link to such a study? The same goes for your statement: "It’s argued that most right-handed users would then trust the comments and individuals presented in this conversation." –  JonW Jul 12 '12 at 7:45

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