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Re: [ia-55] Mega Dropdowns Good or Bad?

From: Yingying
Sent on: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 11:09 AM
Hey Thomas,

I think the use of menu really depends on what kind of website (e-commerce etc) you have and what the key ways to find info on the website. Examples of mega drop-downs in Nielson's articles work fine, and left mega menu like also great. But Amazon does not use a persistent left menu :) it changes according to the content. By the way, I don't think plug in a nice menu pattern to your website will work.

Also, since you have different options, how about grab some users to do quick testing? You will get a good idea about which one works better (clients' opinions are not always right :) )

Just my 2 cents,

On Tue, May 21, 2013 at 10:34 AM, Thomas Donehower, Dir UX at Xi <[address removed]> wrote:

Was in a meeting with a client on Friday showing a redesigned website that used Mega-dropdowns. Client said the site looked nice, but that he felt persistent left or right navigation was more useable than mega-dropdowns. 

The marketing team at the client was pushing against persistent left or right nav because they said it made the site design feel dated. It does seem like it's fading ever since Jacob Neilsen published his article on the usability of megas. 

I was asked my opinion and said it basically depends on what the user is trying to do. If they're navigating to a section and most likely looking for one thing among many options, then mega-dropdown should be fine. However, if the user is navigating to a section and has the need to browse across sub-categories in that section then some sort of persistent navigation makes sense. 

Perhaps the best approach is not Either/Or but some sort of combination of the two schemes.

2 questions for the community:

1. What's your opinion of the usability of megas vs. old-school persistent left and right nav? 

2. Have you seen any other forms of persistent nav schemes beyond the traditional left and right that work well?



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