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I have had this low priority pet project to redesign the My Account page on our site, http://www.yousendit.com, and since this has been on the back-burner for so long, I cannot determine the right action to take from here.

Horizontal or Vertical Nav. Which is better to use in this case? Is it bad to have horizontal nav under the sites own horizontal nav?

Images:

Old My Account Design:


Old My Account


Horizontal Design: Horizontal Nav


Vertical Design: Vertical Nav

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There is no question being asked here. This is not a critique site. –  Charles Boyung May 26 '11 at 18:43
    
1. Horizontal or Vertical Nav, 2. How to decrease call to help center? I'll try to clarify them more if that helps. –  jonshariat May 26 '11 at 19:00
    
@jonshariat - that is two separate questions and should be asked as such. And #3 is not appropriate for this site at all. That's where the critique comment came from. –  Charles Boyung May 26 '11 at 19:31
    
I went ahead and reduced it to one question before people start answering the second question. I agree with @Charles. It's better to ask separate questions and try to phrase them in such a way that others may benefit from the answers. –  Patrick McElhaney May 26 '11 at 19:44
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You need a better prioritization for your different sections (My profile, My…) maybe you could achieve it using a gradient background. [vertical gets my vote] –  Knu May 26 '11 at 23:12

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I would use the left hand navigation. But I'd change it a bit: The navigation should look like one. Remove the icons or make them much smaller. They also shouldn't be between the labels - it makes the navigation hard to process (text-icon-text-icon etc.). This would also make the navigation much more compact and there's no danger of not seeing all of it on smaller screens. It would look something like this: enter image description here

I would not use the top navigation for two main reasons:

  1. It's not flexible enough; there's only have space for one more item.

  2. Visually top-top navigations are usually difficult and this one is no exception IMO:

enter image description here

Hope that helps!

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Thank you Phil! Thats a great answer! –  jonshariat May 27 '11 at 7:37

Either one would work, of course, but the vertical nav has room to grow where the horizontal not as much.

I personally think the vertical nav is more visually appealing and ties the page elements together more clearly.

I've always felt that multiple horizontal nav bars stacked together can quickly become confusing but I have no empirical data to back that up.

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Hmm, there is one answer for both. haha. Any other reasons or studies you can link to? –  jonshariat May 26 '11 at 21:54

Horizontal

The horizontal navigation design seems a bit more natural to me. I don't that this is bad because you have made a clear distinction between the main nav and the secondary nav. Also the way the content is chunked up into the four blocks you have here is very easy to get in and out of related areas.

Laying out information in an easy to digest format always helps to decrease confusion or information overload (which you have done here)

Update: after seeing Phil's rendition I think that this would be the best solution.

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Hmm, there is one answer for both. haha. Any other reasons or studies you can link to? –  jonshariat May 26 '11 at 21:54
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Thanks Matt - an upvote would be much appreciated ;) –  Phil May 27 '11 at 13:14
    
@Phil - Sorry it's a few days late, but your wish has been granted :) –  Matt Rockwell Jun 7 '11 at 15:47

What's wrong with the original? For me, it's the best one. I don't have to wonder what's in each section and everything that's important is clearly marked/linked. In the new versions, will visitors know instinctively when to choose My Plan vs Billing Info?

As this is UX.stackexchange and not GD.stackexchange, are there UX implications (specifically accessibility) to using this type of nested display of information, rather than the current approach?

If it was GD.stackexchange and you approach the project as if the two variations are sub pages to the original, the vertical option would be better--as was already mentioned, it has room to grow.

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