This is a pretty specific question, but I really am not sure if it's the right way I'm thinking.

It's about a music blog with lot's of different kind of articles that needs a better way of navigation.

The articles are written in a magazine style, and by (semi) professional editors.

My first idea was to use tag-based navigation. Users can choose from popular tags (like latest news, Technology, Electro,...) or search for the needed tags (ie David Guetta,..). And the chosen tag or tags provide the user from the wanted content.

But maybe that will be to complicated? Because it's a way of navigating that is not common, and maybe "not done"?

But then I was thinking to use a combination of categories and tags.

enter image description here

Let's take this as an example. The categories above are actually also tags. But strict tags. They will never change and every post in the blog belongs to 1 of those categories.

Aside from the categories (or main tags?) you can choose between the most popular tags of the last month. If the wanted tag is not in that list, you can easily search, and we give the recommended tags.

Each time a categorie or tag is clicked, the content refreshes (No full page refreshing ;-) ).

It will be possible to choose either 1 categorie OR a tag. Or 1 categorie and a tag. Or 1 categorie and multiple tags. (multiple = max 2-3?)

I just wanted to know if this is a right thing to make? Or is this totally not done?

(this might be applicable to this article about new ways of navigating? http://goo.gl/pHGRb)

  • It kind of sounds like you're over complicating and over thinking a system that a lot of users are already familiar with. Content Managers like Wordpress already have this differentiation built in and template builders use it in quite a versatile number of ways.
    – NotSimon
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 7:02
  • So, are you saying that this is a system that is already used a lot on websites, or that there is already an other system that deals with more difficult ways of navigating?
    – Decor
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 11:20
  • 1
    Categories and tags in Wordpress work pretty much how you describe them. Here's a blog post by Wordpress about them: en.support.wordpress.com/posts/categories-vs-tags
    – NotSimon
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 17:15

2 Answers 2


This is not new, they just named the "tag" and "category" differently.

For example, Amazon.com, "department" is actually "category," while the filters at the left side of the search result page are the "tags."

Instead of making the two panels horizontal, you should make them vertical, because they are lists. Since you can only choose 1 category, you should use a drop-down menu. And for tags, since you can choose multiple ones, you should signal that by using check boxes.

enter image description here


Especially for blogging the topic is covered at UX Booth. Some recommendations are:

  • You should introduce primary and secondary navigation.
  • Primary navigation should represent the main categories of your blog (maybe different music styles).
  • Secondary navigation should be used to subdivide the current main category into further sub-categories.

The secondary navigation might show the links depending on their popularity:

  • You could determine good categories by analyzing your site requests for a certain period of time, this way you get to know what your audience expects to find on your site. For example, you could look at what your users type into the search fields - mostly the names of artists? - then you could decide to show different artists in the subcategories.

  • You could use a tag cloud, but they are controversial. This ux stackexchange discussion gives some reasons and some nice alternatives to tag clouds.

I would not recommend such dynamically generated navigation like you apparently want to achieve with the tags.

First, the tags will mix up different topics. Second, the tags are not related to a specific user (as I assume).

Both issues confuse the user, which means, he might not use the tags. This means, that the navigation has no benefit for the user. For new visitors the tags simply are a mess of unrelated links he cannot look through. Users interested in some specific content will use the search box rather than scanning the navigation for a certain tag, that comes close to their idea (and which will propably not exist in the tag list - I assume, you cannot display all tags of a category at once).

Summarizing, navigation should be static for all users and the topics should be consistent. I recommend that you do not rely on tags and think up a navigation that goes well with your site's topic.

There are also some guidelines where to place search boxes.

  • 1
    I understand what you are saying but: -There already is a second navigation, that is used for the static content of the site like about, shop, login/register. --After some field research, it was clear that the site had many different sorts of user groups, with different desires of what they want to find in the site. Not everyone want to navigate through genres, or subjects. Using the way I described to navigate ensures a way of getting content fast and personalized. I'm not sure if your solution really provides those advantages. But I might be wrong of course!
    – Decor
    Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 12:05
  • Anna, it will be possible to choose multiple (combinations of) tags as a registered user (as there are many!), to have the things you want on your landing page. But that, indeed, does not solve the problem for unregistered users. The users are web minded and have an average age of 26,4 years, so they should be able to adjust to a new way of navigating. I know there is a chance of confusing the user, but once used to the way of navigating, I'm almost sure that no way of "normal" navigating will be faster or easier. That's just my opinion of course.
    – Decor
    Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 14:54

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