7

I have read sentiments online about the demerits of the trusty drop-down menu.

EDIT: By 'drop-down menu' I refer to the navigation bar on a home page, not a drop down list on a form.

Is it really bad for SEO? More importantly, is it bad UX? Is it time to consider an alternative navigation option, and if so, what would you suggest?

CONTEXT: See here for a debate over drop down menu usability https://econsultancy.com/blog/3543-huge-drop-down-menus-good-for-usability-nielsen#i.1654buda56frjq

and here...

http://www.impressivewebs.com/drop-down-menu-pet-peeve/

Please share your thoughts!

closed as too broad by Code Maverick, Matt Obee, Charles Wesley, Jimmy Breck-McKye, user34398 May 18 '14 at 13:59

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    For what situation? It's rare that one solution fits every use-case. Dropdowns have their place, as do other navigation options. If you have a specific situation in mind then we can help out there, but it's a bit of a broad discussion question at the moment. – JonW May 15 '14 at 10:15
  • I too see less and less big pull down menus but I don't know if this is because of SEO purposes. It could also be due to a complex implementation in responsive design where the available real estate can differ very much. – Ruudt May 15 '14 at 11:00
  • Drop down or pull down? Hate drop downs (they always get in the way without provocation). Pull downs are fine. – Marjan Venema May 15 '14 at 13:07
  • Can you share some of these sentiments that imply drop-downs are now considered poor practice? – Evil Closet Monkey May 15 '14 at 15:31
  • @MarjanVenema: What's a drop-down? What's a pull-down? Googling seems to result in ambiguous interpretations, or text explanations with no examples. Links to sites containing either of these menu types would help :) – SNag May 18 '14 at 18:13
3

Context is everything. There is nothing inherently bad about a dropdrown nor does it have "bad UX" it matters how its used to solve a problem. It is a simple picker used to collapse a list into a single line. As long as there is appropriate labeling to the field and it's contents are limited then I see no reason not to use it. As to SEO that may be a reason for possibly diminished use, I haven't done any specific competitive research to see if it is or isn't being used for navigation.

2

They have their uses, however these uses are getting smaller by the day - here is a good article from NN group stating when they are acceptable to use.

http://www.nngroup.com/articles/drop-down-menus-use-sparingly/

In a nutshell they are of use if the options you choose from are between 7-11 choices, any less than this can be better solves with a radio button solution.

0

Drop-downs are still very relevant in this day and age regardless of the platform. All operating systems are also using them so users are accustomed to using a drop down.

I would however look at alternatives instead of putting too many options/items in a drop-down menu.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.