I'm brainstorming for the best way to organize the navigation bar in my design and I found out that material design changed their design quite a bit recently. The navigation bar has an in-page navigation, like below:

material design

Basically, 'Navigation' is the primary category, 'Understanding Navigation' and 'Navigation Transition' are child pages, while 'Types of navigation' 'Lateral navigation'... so on are anchors within a page. They aren't separate pages.

Usually, I see some pages have anchors separately, such as:

  1. Top of the page, contents-style, like Wikipedia
  2. Top right hand corner of the page

So this pattern of having in-page anchors within the navbar seems slightly foreign to me, since most of the time, the navbar contains links to separate pages. But this is the best option I have for my current website.

I need users to be able to recognize the in-page anchors (so I can't put them on the right hand corner) and I need a lot of screen space (so I don't want to have a contents).

So, are there any research or relevant resources on the usability of this kind of pattern?

1 Answer 1


Another option, which is a more common pattern, is a sticky nav for in-page navigation. Here is an example on the Sony website:


When you scroll down the page, the sticky nav appears at the top with links to in-page content.

What kind of website are you creating?

  • Hi, thanks for the advice! Yes I browsed that pattern too, but I am creating a utility website (closest to a dashboard but not quite), so the top navigation bar is not a good option. I'm trying to maximize the content area as much as possible, since we have a lot of info to display. But thanks for the reference! Jun 1, 2018 at 1:45

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