I agree with your sentiment about static navigation bars. I don't like them. They get in the way and reduce workable screen space.
Whilst 10 menu items is not a great deal and if they're not large would fit in a menu just fine, if it gets any larger, grouping related items in menus is going to be the best approach.
Then again, if out of 10 items, 6 could be grouped under two drop downs, I would push for drop downs. This will also shorten the menu items.
Home | Stores | Computers | Hard Drives | CD Drives | Mice | Keyboards
Should really become:
Home | Stores | Products |
| Computers |
| Storage > |
| Peripherals > |
If the client is a Hands-on Client (#3), then you may need to find evidence to back up your claims and make them see the error of their ways by gently convincing them your method will be better. Also, remind them that they hired you for a reason.
I suppose my sub-question is this; is
it easier for the user to see
everything at once like the first
example? Or is it easier having a
dropdown and subcategories? The second
may be a neater and more elegant
solution. It definitely appeals to me.
But what about most users? Is this
just more work for them? Having to
People have short term memories and also they want to be able to quickly find where they need to go. When it comes to navigation, I would rather drill down on two sub menus than try to search for an item in a single list. You could imagine trying to find an urban size house on a 5km long road or navigating to a 500m long road and have 1/10th the house numbers to look at.
Let's say I need to buy a hard drive. I don't want to spend 10 seconds scanning a long list of computer products when I could spend 1 second finding "Storage" and another short mouse click away under "Hard Disk".
What is up to is how granular it needs to be. For example, in this "computer product" example, I wouldn't go so far as to add brands to a sub menu of "Hard Disks", rather leaving that to the product listing itself.
It also depends on how many actual menu items you have, of which you don't seem to have a lot.