RE: [IxDA] Right-hand navigation

17 Jul 2010 - 2:36pm
4 years ago
1 reply
526 reads
William Hudson
2009

I wrote an article on this a while back - it's not a definitive answer but addresses the suggestion that right-hand navigation might be more efficient.

However, I have to say that 'people usually figure things out' is not good evidence in favour. You can do a number of things that people will figure out, but at some point the cognitive loading will just become too much and they will bail out.

The article is at http://www.syntagm.co.uk/design/articles/navright.htm (more along similar lines at http://www.syntagm.co.uk/design/articles.htm)

Regards,

William Hudson Syntagm Ltd User Experience Strategist UK 01235-522859 World +44-1235-522859 US Toll Free 1-866-SYNTAGM mailto:william.hudson@syntagm.co.uk http://www.syntagm.co.uk skype:williamhudsonskype twitter:SyntagmUCD

Syntagm is a limited company registered in England and Wales (1985). Registered number: 1895345. Registered office: 10 Oxford Road, Abingdon OX14 2DS.

-----Original Message----- From: ixdaor@host.ixda.org [mailto:ixdaor@host.ixda.org] On Behalf Of Dave Tanchak Sent: 17 July 2010 02:39 To: William Hudson Subject: [IxDA] Right-hand navigation

Hi all,

We're working on a new site design and some initial user testing has shown that our local navigation is just as effective on the right side of the page as it is on the left...

Comments

18 Jul 2010 - 1:05pm
Dave Tanchak
2007

Thanks William. That'll teach me for being vague and/or flip :-)

By 'people usually figure things out' I just meant that our testing and experience over the years has shown that people seem able to discern what is part of the navigation system and what is not. In other words how something is styled and presented seems to be more important than where it is. Yes, convention is great, but sometimes it's nice to stand out a bit (provided you're not causing anyone any pain).

For example, on our current site, many pages have a right column full of supplemental information that could be very useful to visitors within a certain context. We find that much of this information is ignored, however, because it is presented in colourful boxes, or with smaller text, or using graphical features. In other words, people think they are ads and so they ignore them.

Our navigation is clearly labeled as such -- "In this section", "Related Links", "Page Tools" etc. -- and it is styled like a table of contents. As mentioned in my original question, initial testing has shown that, when we move this to the right side of the page, people have had no trouble completing tasks. In addition, since the three columns, from left-to-right, are now content, supplemental info, and navigation, we've found that some of the information that was previously ignored is now being used, perhaps because it is located between the two more "interesting" or "useful" parts of each page and people are forced to at least momentarily look at it.

In any case, our sample thus far has been small, and we'll definitely be doing some more testing. I was hoping to find out if there had been other research done, or any definitive conclusions, since the last time this topic came up in 2008 (Thanks for the article, William).

Cheers all,

D.

On Sat, Jul 17, 2010 at 1:08 PM, William Hudson wrote: > I wrote an article on this a while back - it's not a definitive answer but > addresses the suggestion that right-hand navigation might be more efficient. > > However, I have to say that 'people usually figure things out' is not good > evidence in favour. You can do a number of things that people will figure > out, but at some point the cognitive loading will just become too much and > they will bail out. > > The article is at http://www.syntagm.co.uk/design/articles/navright.htm > (more along similar lines at http://www.syntagm.co.uk/design/articles.htm) > > Regards, > > William Hudson > Syntagm Ltd > User Experience Strategist > UK 01235-522859 > World +44-1235-522859 > US Toll Free 1-866-SYNTAGM > mailto:william.hudson@syntagm.co.uk > http://www.syntagm.co.uk > skype:williamhudsonskype > twitter:SyntagmUCD > > Syntagm is a limited company registered in England and Wales (1985). > Registered number: 1895345. Registered office: 10 Oxford Road, Abingdon OX14 > 2DS. > > -----Original Message----- > From: ixdaor@host.ixda.org [mailto:ixdaor@host.ixda.org] On Behalf Of Dave > Tanchak > Sent: 17 July 2010 02:39 > To: William Hudson > Subject: [IxDA] Right-hand navigation > > Hi all, > > We're working on a new site design and some initial user testing has shown > that our local navigation is just as effective on the right side of the page > as it is on the left... > >

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