What is an effective design to hide/minimize primary navigation to focus the user on secondary navigation, while still providing access to the primary nav?
(rephrased from below to make it more of a direct question)
I'm working on a site design that is very data-heavy and requires a lot of sub-navigation. One solution that I'm exploring is hiding/minimizing the full site navigation once you are in a secondary area, and instead focusing solely on the sub-navigation within that section. For example, the full site navigation might be hidden behind a "menu" button or something similar that expands. Another possibility is doing something like NBCnews.com, where the page loads "pre-scrolled" down slightly, but if the user scrolls up to the top they can see the main nav again (of course, discoverability is a factor here).
I'm having trouble finding good examples of this online, and don't really know a good name for either design pattern which is impeding my search for examples or any usability findings.
If anyone has examples to share, usability findings, or alternative solutions, that would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.