I am building a web application where my design always shows the sticky side navigation on the left. Now I am wondering: is it good for usability to always show it, especially when users have to fill out large forms?

I think when users are filling out forms, they might accidentally click on the navigation elements and lose the information they already entered , or the navigation might lead them to forget what they are doing and just go to other pages. My design looks like this:

Adding Content

2 Answers 2


Keep the side navigation if the form is part of the rest of the website (i.e. the user found the form by clicking somewhere in the nav, or on a link on another page). Navigation is important to tell users where they are and where they can go. Without it, they become disoriented and confused. Moving the user around a series of pages with and without navigation breaks the Consistency and Standards UX heuristic.

Get rid of the side navigation if this form should be on a landing page (i.e., the user found it in via an external inbound link like an ad or search engine, and the only function is to get the user to fill out the form.) In that case, you don't want the user exploring the rest of your website before filling out your form. If this is your scenario, you'll need to add enough additional information to the page to make it clear what the user will gain from entering their information.

Looking at your mockup, it looks like the user is trying to add content, which is a function of your web platform, so keeping the side nav would be correct.

  • 1
    Thank you @Izquierdo for explaining so perfectly.
    – Kazi
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 6:48

Navigation: As part of the design having persistent left menu should not be an issue as most of the application display it as primary or secondary navigation.

Content Form: It is not very clear from the design that you have a landing page for Contents, that display's all the earlier completed content forms. Coming to the point of users accidentally clicking other links on the left-menu, in this scenario you can display a confirmation popup which says something like "Are you sure you want to quit the content form as the filled in data will be lost, with two clear options to select Yes & No" for users if they really want to jump to other screens. Implementing features like auto save will also be very useful, just in case User decides to quit in between and wants to restart filling in the remaining details to complete the form.

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