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

From: user 1.
Sent on: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 1:31 PM
hi Tom -
We're launching a new Intranet site that uses *both* meganavs and detailed left-navs. Both are persistent.  The site launches next week. Our strategy was to highlight most-used items in the meganav while maintaining "legacy" IA buckets in the left-nav. I'm interested to see how it will work. Our early tests indicate that users are more interested in the meganav and in its presence, some even forget that left-nav links are also available.


Subject: [ia-55] Mega Dropdowns Good or Bad?
From: [address removed]
To: [address removed]
Date: Tue, 21 May[masked]:34:43 -0400


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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