Navigation: flyout menu\'s on online newspaper websites

16 Sep 2009 - 11:01am
1665 reads
Ruairi Doyle
2009

Hi all.

I am interested in canvasing opinion and feedback on flyout menu’s.

Our organisation includes many online newspaper websites – which is
the domain I focus on here.

Recently, we conducted a competive gap analysis against benchmark
competitors looking at different areas of user experience, content
strategy and obviously information architecture and navigation. The
research focused on 16 high profile online newspaper sites,
predominantly in the US, UK and Australia.

With regard to navigation, some of the highlights from the analysis
included:
100% have horizontal based navigation systems
54% employ a "Hot Topics" or "Quick links" on homepage
45% use flyout menu's on their Jobs, Homes, Cars, Classifieds links

The last point about flyout’s is interesting as more and more sites
are implementing this to improve linking relevancy, brand association
& gain seo payback. For an example please look at www.denverpost.com,
www.boston.com OR www.seattletimes.com (mouse over the links for Jobs,
Autos etc).. you get the idea.

There are a few aging posts on the web on this subject – and no
consensus.

Do people think such flyout’s are a no-go area OR that users mental
models now expect this sort of functionality and once implemented
gracefully and carefully these can work and are a plus for user
experience?

Thanks and looking forward to your feedback.

Best regards
Ruairi

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