For questions about the mechanisms you can use to help people find their way around your application or web site.

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66
votes
4answers
14k views

Why did Microsoft make Windows 8 hard to Power Off?

I’ve been using Windows 8 for a couple of weeks and am certain the new operating system will work great on tablet (i.e. Microsoft Surface). On PC some say the best tile is the desktop tile, where you ...
56
votes
7answers
8k views

What's the best way to view a deep hierarchy?

I've been pondering the best way to show a deep hierarchy for a desktop application I'm working on. Here are some alternative designs I'm considering... Mac OSX Finder: If you understand what ...
55
votes
10answers
7k views

Home button vs Logo link?

Is a "home" button on the navigation required if there is a link to the homepage using the company's logo? Increasingly I have noticed more and more websites using the logo as a link to return to ...
35
votes
10answers
4k views

Has user testing found that the “three horizontal bars” for main menu on mobile is commonly understood?

"Three horizontal lines" aka "hamburger icon" seems to be becoming a convention for the "main menu" button, especially on mobile sites: Has anyone done any user testing of this convention, or got ...
31
votes
5answers
2k views

The Pinterest Trap

First a bit of context: I have been falling victim more and more to "Pinterestization" or the "Pinterest Trap" in my design. I have a feeling I'm not the only one. See this excerpt from Hana Schank ...
30
votes
3answers
7k views

Do users understand the browser back button?

You hear a lot about not breaking the back button on websites, but can you assume that most users know and use the back button? Is it redundant to add a JavaScript or HTML back button/link on a page? ...
30
votes
8answers
2k views

Is it a good idea to have a large footer containing many links?

In recent years, it's become quite a common design pattern to have a large footer on every page, containing a 'mini sitemap'. For example: This has supposed SEO benefits, but would also seem to ...
29
votes
12answers
2k views

Do website visitors return to the homepage once they're inside the site?

I have been (unsuccessfully) looking for some research that supports / rejects (or even discusses) the hypothesis that: Once a user has entered a website a significant percentage of them do not ...
26
votes
7answers
2k views

Would Breadcrumbs be effective if they incorporate Dropdowns?

I'm currently thinking about adding a quite comprehensive section to a website: the section I'm talking about starts at level 3 of the overall website and itself has another four structural levels. ...
23
votes
3answers
1k views

Is Repeating a Word in a Navigation Panel Bad?

On a clothing website (in one of the navigation panels). I have sorted the dresses according to their colour (example and snapshot is listed below). Below is the example **Dresses by Collours** ...
23
votes
8answers
1k views

Can I safely remove search functionality?

One of our clients has a content-rich website with about 300 pages of content in total. We did our utmost best to provide a very clear main navigation, but also provide a search function in the ...
23
votes
8answers
3k views

What is “eyebrow navigation”?

Just came across this term in a document I'm reading through, referring to "eyebrow links" in the context of navigation. Presumably it's a form of navigation at the top of the page, but what ...
20
votes
5answers
1k views

Any thoughts on a seasonal navigation?

We're considering changing some items in the menu based on the season. For example, during the winter, in the sports section of our site, it means removing 'Golf' in the menu and adding it in the ...
20
votes
7answers
1k views

Are hover menus in headers easy to use?

Do users find it easy to use headers/menus like the one displayed below?
19
votes
6answers
7k views

How to best indicate navigation menu on mobile

What's the best way to indicate the navigation menu on mobile devices? I see this three-bar icon being used a lot, but do users really understand what it means? Wouldn't a button simply saying ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

How to explain to director that a multilevel dropdown menu isn't a good idea

My director and designer want to make a big drop-down menu on our site. Multilevel menu : | MENU 1 | MENU 2 | MENU 3 | MENU 4 | ...
18
votes
7answers
6k views

Hamburger menu icons - should they be on the left or right?

Hamburger menus (the three small horizontal bars: the new menu icon). Should they be on the right or left? I'm only thinking of mobile and tablet applications. The pattern I see the most is on the ...
18
votes
2answers
936 views

Senior Usability and Navigation

Does anyone have any current resources for senior usability? I'm specifically researching navigation: tabs and accordions. The Jacob Nielsen site has a report that's over a decade old. I'm looking for ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Will users know to click the top item in navigation menu?

I've got a navigation menu on my website which has several levels of submenu. In the example pictured below I'd like users to be able to click "Services" in the top level menu and go to a "services" ...
17
votes
10answers
4k views

Should I add a 'Home' Button to the navigation?

I know that it is common behavior to have the logo of a web page be a link to the home page, but should I also have a 'home' link in the navigation bar for it as well?
16
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it ever okay to have multiple rows of tabs?

We're working on a UI at work and people want to have the number of tabs in a certain area be flexible width so that in certain situations depending on the title length and the number of tabs, the tab ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the name for the horizontal tabs expanding / contracting kind of navigation?

Can somebody tell me if there is a name for this kind of tab navigation implementation?
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a better solution than breadcrumbs to cascading categories on mobile?

I am working on a mobile application (Android ICS based) where I need to show a lot of products on screen. Now the products are categorized in several categories which are on X level, where X is ...
16
votes
4answers
10k views

Breadcrumbs: OK to use on mobile site?

Wondering if anyone has thoughts on using breadcrumbs as a method of navigation on a mobile website (for a content site). The breadcrumbs would show the heirarchy of the site as such: Site > ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

When is a right-handed navigation sidebar appropriate?

When is a right-handed sidebar for navigation a good choice? If possible, I would like some examples where it has been used, such as this sidebar from Google's official blog.
16
votes
8answers
716 views

Click on Logo no longer brings user to the homepage of a website, good?

The latest Google webpage redesign brings us a feature ( or a bug?): Clicking on the logo no longer brings user to the homepage of the website. This behavior is consistent across different Google ...
15
votes
10answers
785 views

External links: Whether & how to distinguishing them from internal links, and to open them

How do other IAs/UXD's treat external links & what are the perceived pros/cons of different options. Specifically looking for recommendations on: whether & how to visually distinguish ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Usability research on sticky headers?

Sticky (or fixed) headers are not so uncommon nowadays, and for a large website that relies heavily on catalog and search functionality it may be a good choice to aid the user. As I am currently ...
15
votes
4answers
796 views

What reasons are there for “go to bottom/top” links no longer being used much? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do people use back to top links? Some websites have links like Go To Bottom or Go To Top. It seems like this technique has fallen out of style. Are there good reasons ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Can a visual progress bar be used as a navigational element?

We're having a bit of a debate here among teammates as to what would be a better UX solution, so I was hoping you guys could help me settle this. We have a linear flow through a data-collection ...
14
votes
5answers
388 views

Is it better to offer 2-3 links to access the same page or one single link?

I'm currently working on an events website. On the events landing page, there is a list of upcoming events. Here is how each event is presented: The banner, title and 'more details' button lead to ...
13
votes
9answers
1k views

Warn desktop user of draggable website

I'm building a site that uses the jQuery iScroll plugin in the main navigation system. (http://lab.cubiq.org/iscroll/examples/simple/). Please note that the plugin is not exactly drag-n-drop. Right ...
13
votes
6answers
1k views

Breadcrumbs: ok to place at the top of a page?

Should breadcrumbs ever be placed at the very top-left of a page? Breadcrumbs seem to always be located either directly below the nav menu or above the page content. An article from 1stWebDesigner ...
13
votes
5answers
4k views

What is the navigation concept Bootstrap uses called?

The Bootstrap documentation site uses a very interesting navigation concept. They have a per-page navigation bar that sticks on top of the page once you scroll down and highlights the current area on ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Drawer Navigation vs. Drop Down Menus

Are there any studies on drawer type navigation such as: http://www.ibm.com/us/en/ where the navigation pushes down content, compared to traditional drop down menus where navigation covers up content? ...
13
votes
3answers
952 views

Do web users understand the 'sandwich icon' for side bar when used on a desktop site?

I'm aware that the usage of the sandwich icon and side bar for mobile apps is wide-spread and well known by the users (so it seems, anyway), like this one from the Facebook app: I'm developing an ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Best practices for scrolling and navigation on touch interfaces: horizontal vs vertical

It's well known that on traditional (mouse/keyboard) interfaces horizontal scrolling goes against user expectations, however in touch devices the matter is not so clear. Are there any best practices, ...
12
votes
8answers
1k views

Which side of a web page should a side menu go on?

Many websites have side menus and I seem some have the side menu on the right and some on the left. Which side is better?
12
votes
8answers
987 views

Should Printer-Friendly button open a new browser window ?

Reading Common web app usability gotchas? I felt guilty when I read that using a target = "_blank" is a bad thing. I have developed a small web application that format Stack Exchange questions in a ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the reason behind fixed (position) navbars?

It's becoming almost customary for responsive designs to have fixed-position navbars, where the navbar is fixed to the top (usually, or even bottom sometimes) of the viewport of the browser. Don't ...
12
votes
4answers
518 views

Is search a necessary navigation element?

I often have arguments about navigation at work with programmers who think search is a required part of any navigation. I think this is because programmers are advanced computer users who use search a ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

New Style of Pagination Pattern

I was looking at a few of the huge ecommerce sites, and how they handle pagination. Asos Amazon I've shown how Asos and Amazon handle it above. This pagination works okay if there are 5 or so ...
12
votes
6answers
475 views

headings as links

In a lot of cases I've always used headings as links (where they make sense) instead of a heading, info text and then a link For example: Finance website Here's some info text here about this ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

Best practice for translating context menu options to touch devices?

I'm building a photo site that must allow users to manage thousands of photos via paged thumbnails on a big desktop. I also want to offer a touch interface that is both usable and delightful on the ...
12
votes
4answers
894 views

Use of Website Category Landing Pages

OK, here's the situation: A reasonably simple website with a primary navigation menu including drop-down list of sublevels on hover. Each navigation level may have 3 - 6 sublevels below it, none more ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Best practice for Navigation usability? [closed]

I'm currently working on a social network type system, and was wondering about the best practice for navigation. Would it be better to use Icons or Text? I was thinking a mixture, icons for some ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Tabbed browsing. Why close the application on closing the last tab?

This happens in IE, Chrome and Firefox. When you close the last 'tab' when you're navigating, the application closes. I'm aware that Chrome (at least) has a really fast restart after that, but still, ...
11
votes
2answers
622 views

Icon-only navigation bar for a desktop application?

I am working on a groupware application running as a desktop application (not in the browser). I wanted to keep the interface really simple and minimalistic so my users will not get distracted by a ...
11
votes
4answers
289 views

Should you optimize mobile experiences based on individual handedness?

In abbood's question "How to implement a stack exchange style voting for mobile?" he answers his own question with the following mock-up: My immediate thought was that the up-vote control was on ...
11
votes
4answers
577 views

Mixing Full Page-Width Navbar With A 960px Body

Is there ever a use case for mixing a full-width top navigation bar (meaning the navigation bar content is also full-width) with a contained body (around 960px)? What are the benefits or drawbacks to ...