Topic: Interaction Design Pattern - Chessboard layout

15 Dec 2008 - 9:10am
5 years ago
3 replies
1246 reads
tom j halsør
2008

Hi!
I'm in the process of finding pros and cons for a specific menu system based
closely on this pattern described here back inn 1999:
http://www.uidesign.net/1999/papers/Chessboard.html
What is not clearly stated in the Uidesign paper is that if you select a
topic in the left hand menu it "sticks" to that choice until you make
another choice in the left hand menu. Same goes for top menu.

So choosing a subject in the left menu and then clicking a infotype in the
top menu. It will display that subject in selected info type(top menu).
Selecting another infotype in the top menu, the subject will stick and it
will show the same subject just in another info type. (and the same, the
other way around)

This closely resembles a conventional menu system, and that is why I'm in
great doubt about this solution.

The site in question is a huge statistical information site.
It targets everybody* (I know, i know, but it's a governmental site, and has
to do so by law)*
It will have 25 choices down the left hand side menu and 7 across the top
menu (25x7 menu items)

I am put to the task of evaluating this solution and are looking for some
comments.

Have anybody seen successful implementation of this type of pattern?
Please; any comments is wellcome.

Cheers
:)tom

Comments

15 Dec 2008 - 1:24pm
Michael Williamson
2008

You are right that many Websites are designed in this fashion except the top menu functions as a "top-level" navigation and the left side as subsequent navigation. This is a reverse of the chessboard pattern you reference.

I think that the chessboard pattern seems flawed because 1) it works contrary to the mental model human beings have about navigation, and 2) is "reverse" from the typical site navigation scheme.

I, too share your "doubts" about this pattern.

15 Dec 2008 - 3:25pm
jrrogan
2005

Hi Tom,

I've used and am presently using this style of navigation, (or an equivalent
where first level runs down left side).

I believe your question is, "what persists in the body area given navigation
selections", (is this correct?).

If this is your question, generally if you choose a menu item that is
"terminal" (meaning there is only one screen directly related to that menu
item, (albeit this screen could have tabs/be a wizard etc)), that screen
will refresh and persist in the body area until an other "terminal" menu
item has been selected.

In this case it is simpler to consider screens and navigation to these
screens. "N" level navigation is simply an organizational concept to get to
individual screens/functionality. Thus a screen will persist in the body
area until another screen has been chosen, regardless if the navigation to
the screen is in top nav, or left nav.

Rich

On Mon, Dec 15, 2008 at 9:10 AM, Tom Halsør <tom at kulp.no> wrote:

> **
> What is not clearly stated in the Uidesign paper is that if you select a
> topic in the left hand menu it "sticks" to that choice until you make
> another choice in the left hand menu. Same goes for top menu.
>
> So choosing a subject in the left menu and then clicking a infotype in the
> top menu. It will display that subject in selected info type(top menu).
> Selecting another infotype in the top menu, the subject will stick and it
> will show the same subject just in another info type. (and the same, the
> other way around)
>
> This closely resembles a conventional menu system, and that is why I'm in
> great doubt about this solution.
>
> The site in question is a huge statistical information site.
> It targets everybody* (I know, i know, but it's a governmental site, and
> has
> to do so by law)*
> It will have 25 choices down the left hand side menu and 7 across the top
> menu (25x7 menu items)
>
> I am put to the task of evaluating this solution and are looking for some
> comments.
>
> Have anybody seen successful implementation of this type of pattern?
> Please; any comments is wellcome.
>
> Cheers
> :)tom
> ________________________________________________________________
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--
Joseph Rich Rogan
President UX/UI Inc.
http://www.jrrogan.com

16 Dec 2008 - 12:47am
tom j halsør
2008

Hi and thanx for your input!

Rich:
It is not so much what persist in the body area that worries me, but that the user moves horizontally and vertically through the pages. (though not in a visual grid, but page by page)

Given that user choose subject13 in the left( vertical) menu and then click a menu item (info type) in the top menu called "publication" he will get publication regarding this subject(13) matter.
If the next click is yet another option in the top menu, subject13 will still "stick" and you may now be looking at "news" f.ex regarding this subject13.
Is the users next click in the left menu - subject21, "News"(top menu item) will stick and the user is now looking at a page regarding "news" in "subject 21".

So the question is, will the user capture this idea about moving vertical and horizontal through the site?

I would really like to see examples of this type of navigation Rich. If you don't mind please send a link.

Thanx again

tom j halsør

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