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enter image description hereI am currently working on designing an account settings page and within the current design, I do not hide the main navigation. Another designer I am working with is suggesting removing the main navigation once the user is on the account settings page and his reason is to not distract the user from the task they are trying to complete once on this page. The main navigation will introduce things like alert icons in the near future but I'm not sure a badge on the primary nav would be that distracting. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

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    Can you tell us more about the user distraction problem? Has that been observed in playback videos, user research, etc? Also, forcing focus on this task kind of makes it modal, would using a modal window be an option?
    – Izquierdo
    Jul 21, 2021 at 15:35
  • The distraction problem is an assumption for the near future if and when we introduce badges into the primary nav. We don't currently have an account page so we do not have user feedback on an existing experience. I thought I added an image of the design but I do not see it. Let me try and upload again
    – tuna
    Jul 21, 2021 at 15:49
  • If the navigation menu is hidden, how will the user navigate back to another page?
    – musefan
    Jul 21, 2021 at 15:51
  • the user would be able to navigate back to the previous page via a breadcrumb or back button
    – tuna
    Jul 21, 2021 at 15:55
  • @tuna: Where are the breadcrumbs in your design? Will they only appear when the menu is hidden? If so, I would say that will be much more visually distracting then keeping the menu visible.
    – musefan
    Jul 21, 2021 at 16:08

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I suggest you keep the navigation menu visible at all times.

The current design could hardly be called obtrusive. Even with notification icons I wouldn't imagine it would be much of a distraction, and in the event that the notification icons do draw the users focus... well, isn't that the whole point of them anyway?

Any slight benefits that you may think would be gained from removing this so-called distraction, would quickly be overshadowed by the inconsistency the user now faces with navigating the site.

Consistency is a huge factor in UX, if you are going to break it then you had better have a very good reason for doing so... this isn't one of those reasons.


As a side note, you may want to investigate the pros and cons of having a navigation menu that uses only icons, without text.

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  • Thank you for providing helpful feedback, I agree that creating an inconsistency is not worth it in this regard.
    – tuna
    Jul 21, 2021 at 17:21

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