I am a software developer developing an online rugby union manager game as a side project. I am not that good at design but I've been reading a lot recently on this subject and I'm trying to improve my skills. I've spent a few hours trying to find a a solution for my application top navigation bar and anything I am trying doesn't seem to be good enough.

First, some info about the navigation bar:

  • It has 2 variants, one when the user is not authenticated and one when the user is authenticated.
  • I am considering removing the navbar completely when the user isn't authenticated as it only has 3 links and I could remove 2 of them: the tour could be integrated on the homepage and the help section isn't needed unless you play the game so I could show it only to authenticated users. This way the guests of the website won't feel overwhelmed with information and could start playing the game right away. On the other hand, I'm afraid some of them might feel there is not enough information about the game and will be reluctant to register.

When the user is authenticated, the navbar is the main way to navigate the website. Based on the item clicked in the navbar a sidebar will be displayed:

  • if the user is on Home section there will be some links to a page with announcements about the game, his mailbox, statistics, etc.
  • if the user is on the Team section there will be some links to his team's facilities, stadium, players etc.

Here are some of my attempts: https://i.sstatic.net/ug0Ib.jpg.

Right now, my favourite would be the one with big icons and removing the navigation from the landing page as it just looks a little bit off with just 3 items.

I could also try to put the menu below the logo, but this way there will be a lot of empty space on the row where the logo is and I kind of like the big icons version (which I think would look odd being below the logo) because it communicates to the user that the top navbar is the main way to navigate the website and the sidebar is the secondary one.

Any feedback or suggestions?

1 Answer 1


When it comes to online games, you are usually best guided by feedback from the actual users rather than designers, especially if they don't have a lot of experience with game design. Of course, you can apply the usual design principles of trying to keep things simple and minimalistic, but once you manage to grow a substantial amount of users, you'll want to develop a more user-centric design and development process.

One way to test if your design is simple and easy enough is to compare the desktop and mobile versions of your design concept (if your game is designed for mobile devices as well) and see how much difference there is in the design concepts. Generally if there is not a significant difference, then you probably have designed something that is simple enough to work with most users.

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