Re: [WSG] Casual Friday[Drop-Down Menus]

2005-11-26 Thread Michael Wilson

Chris Kennon wrote:

I've adopted the philosophy, drop down menus are a surrogate for  
detailed Information Architecture.  Sub-navigation should be  
introduced on internal pages to navigate sub-sections. Before passing  
this along to clients as mantra, I thought seeking the advice of the  
participants of the list advantageous.


Hi,

I've used drop down menus on many sites, but in the end I've always 
wished I hadn't. I no longer use them. They /can/ be useful for return 
visitors who are familiar with the content of your site because fewer 
clicks are required to get to specific content, but for first time users 
or users who are less attentive, they tend to be less productive. Users 
tend to spend more time searching menus and making guesses, than it 
would take to simply click through an intuitive top-level navigation. I 
also prefer a top-level only type navigation because it gives me more 
opportunities to present content and information to the user. A drop 
down menu such as the following:


Solutions
solution 1
solution 2
solution 3
solution 4

is generally less effective and informative than a top level link that 
leads to a topic page that provides a brief overview of each solution. 
This is a better overall value for the organization, more informative to 
the user, and more effective for search engine optimization.


As for screen clutter, I haven't found drop down menus to very helpful 
in this regard either. Generally, the links usually contained in the 
sub-navigation of a drop down are represented on the topic page as 
contextual navigation, essentially accomplishing the same clutter 
control as a drop down menu might.


I can't really think of any good reason to use a drop down menu other 
than a /possible/ reduction in clicks for the user.


Best regards,
Michael Wilson
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[WSG] Casual Friday[Drop-Down Menus]

2005-11-25 Thread Chris Kennon

Hi,

I've adopted the philosophy, drop down menus are a surrogate for  
detailed Information Architecture.  Sub-navigation should be  
introduced on internal pages to navigate sub-sections. Before passing  
this along to clients as mantra, I thought seeking the advice of the  
participants of the list advantageous.


Respectfully,
Chris
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Re: [WSG] Casual Friday[Drop-Down Menus]

2005-11-25 Thread Christian Montoya
On 11/25/05, Chris Kennon [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Hi,

 I've adopted the philosophy, drop down menus are a surrogate for
 detailed Information Architecture.  Sub-navigation should be
 introduced on internal pages to navigate sub-sections. Before passing
 this along to clients as mantra, I thought seeking the advice of the
 participants of the list advantageous.

 Respectfully,
 Chris

Agreed. Dropdown navigation doesn't tell you as much about each
section as does a complete section page. It also doesn't make
navigation more convenient.

--
--
Christian Montoya
christianmontoya.com ... rdpdesign.com ... cssliquid.com
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Re: [WSG] Casual Friday[Drop-Down Menus]

2005-11-25 Thread Jay Gilmore




I am with you on that. I don't feel that dropdowns are as user friendly
as they could be. I think people should be directed to the information
they are using by providing descriptive top level navigation,
contextual linking and logical 2nd level navigation within the context
of the related main subsection. Site maps and search utilities are also
a good way to ensure that people will get to the info or goal. 

Jay


Jay Gilmore
Developer/Consultant
Affordable Websites and Marketing Solutions for Real
Small Business.
SmashingRed Web  Marketing
P) 902.529.0651
E) [EMAIL PROTECTED]




Chris Kennon wrote:
Hi,
  
  
I've adopted the philosophy, drop down menus are a surrogate for
detailed Information Architecture. Sub-navigation should be
introduced on internal pages to navigate sub-sections. Before passing
this along to clients as mantra, I thought seeking the advice of the
participants of the list advantageous.
  
  
Respectfully,
  
Chris
  
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The discussion list for http://webstandardsgroup.org/
  
  
See http://webstandardsgroup.org/mail/guidelines.cfm
  
for some hints on posting to the list  getting help
  
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Re: [WSG] Casual Friday[Drop-Down Menus]

2005-11-25 Thread Jon Tan

Chris Kennon wrote:

I've adopted the philosophy, drop down menus are a surrogate for  detailed 
Information Architecture.  Sub-navigation should be  introduced on 
internal pages to navigate sub-sections.


Agreed under the assumption that you're not referring to navigating by 
select box. I only say that because I had a 10 minute debate with someone 
who was referring to drop-downs when they meant select. :|


Menus with drop down features are my idea of hyperhell and the majority of 
implementations are hyperdeath for screenreaders. IMO, they are often used 
instead of good contextual links, calls to action and invitations to action 
within the content proper which deliver much better usability. FWIW I think 
contextual links are also more 'natural' in the sense that in most cases, 
links from the actual content are an organic drill-down/across/up and allow 
users to make a series of logical steps towrds their goals. Too often I've 
been interested in something mentioned in the content of  page but then 
being _forced_ to use a master drop down menu to find related information 
becuse there was no link from the content to quickly drill to it.


Jon Tan
www.gr0w.com

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RE: [WSG] Casual Friday[Drop-Down Menus]

2005-11-25 Thread Stephen Stagg
Just to stop this thread from being too one-sided, I disagree.  While I do
agree that care should be taken, it depends on the content that is being
portrayed and the levels of hierarchy involved.  On a relatively simple site
structure, drop-downs can serve to reduce screen clutter while allowing
rapid cross-sectional navigation.  In my site, I'm not implementing drop
down menus, merely because I couldn't afford the time needed to fit into the
design. I'm sure they will come later though.  I have, however, added a
breadcrumb style list to allow easy navigation back up the hierarchy.  

Using nested lists to represent site navigation can give more semantic
information about a site in one go than having different menus on each page.
If the site is simple enough to support it, the navigation menus should
represent the whole site while contextual links should be indicated within
the body of the page either as a menu or just inline.


Stephen


-Original Message-
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
On Behalf Of Jon Tan
Sent: 25 November 2005 20:46
To: wsg@webstandardsgroup.org
Subject: Re: [WSG] Casual Friday[Drop-Down Menus]

Chris Kennon wrote:

 I've adopted the philosophy, drop down menus are a surrogate for  detailed

 Information Architecture.  Sub-navigation should be  introduced on 
 internal pages to navigate sub-sections.

Agreed under the assumption that you're not referring to navigating by 
select box. I only say that because I had a 10 minute debate with someone 
who was referring to drop-downs when they meant select. :|

Menus with drop down features are my idea of hyperhell and the majority of 
implementations are hyperdeath for screenreaders. IMO, they are often used 
instead of good contextual links, calls to action and invitations to action 
within the content proper which deliver much better usability. FWIW I think 
contextual links are also more 'natural' in the sense that in most cases, 
links from the actual content are an organic drill-down/across/up and allow 
users to make a series of logical steps towrds their goals. Too often I've 
been interested in something mentioned in the content of  page but then 
being _forced_ to use a master drop down menu to find related information 
becuse there was no link from the content to quickly drill to it.

Jon Tan
www.gr0w.com

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Re: [WSG] Casual Friday[Drop-Down Menus]

2005-11-25 Thread Al Sparber

From: Jon Tan [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: wsg@webstandardsgroup.org
Sent: Friday, November 25, 2005 3:46 PM
Subject: Re: [WSG] Casual Friday[Drop-Down Menus]



Chris Kennon wrote:

I've adopted the philosophy, drop down menus are a surrogate for 
detailed Information Architecture.  Sub-navigation should be 
introduced on internal pages to navigate sub-sections.


Agreed under the assumption that you're not referring to navigating 
by select box. I only say that because I had a 10 minute debate with 
someone who was referring to drop-downs when they meant select. :|


Menus with drop down features are my idea of hyperhell and the 
majority of implementations are hyperdeath for screenreaders. IMO, 
they are often used instead of good contextual links, calls to 
action and invitations to action within the content proper which 
deliver much better usability. FWIW I think contextual links are 
also more 'natural' in the sense that in most cases, links from the 
actual content are an organic drill-down/across/up and allow users 
to make a series of logical steps towrds their goals. Too often I've 
been interested in something mentioned in the content of  page but 
then being _forced_ to use a master drop down menu to find related 
information becuse there was no link from the content to quickly 
drill to it.


In an ideal world - you have a point. But drop-down hierarchical menus 
can be useful if well-deployed - and they can be integrated into an 
accessible web site, too. The web comes in shades of gray.


Al Sparber
PVII
http://www.projectseven.com

Designing with CSS is sometimes like barreling down a crumbling 
mountain road at 90 miles per hour secure in the knowledge that 
repairs are scheduled for next Tuesday.



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Re: [WSG] Casual Friday[Drop-Down Menus]

2005-11-25 Thread Chris Kennon

 Hi,

 When you say contextual linking you’re referring to sub-navigation  
appropriate to each sub-section?


C
On Nov 25, 2005, at 12:46 PM, Jon Tan wrote:


IMO, they are often used instead of good contextual links,


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Re: [WSG] Casual Friday[Drop-Down Menus]

2005-11-25 Thread Chris Kennon

Hi,

Never mind! I knew them as breadcrumbs.

C
On Nov 25, 2005, at 2:35 PM, Chris Kennon wrote:


 Hi,

 When you say contextual linking you’re referring to sub-navigation  
appropriate to each sub-section?


C
On Nov 25, 2005, at 12:46 PM, Jon Tan wrote:



IMO, they are often used instead of good contextual links,



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