3 Articles discussing designing/building navigation for a website

1. http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/04/19/showcase-of-creative-navigation-menus-good-and-bad-examples/

This article explores creative navigation and discusses the potential usability problems of each of the techniques presented. They give inspiring and original design examples —although some are not necessarily very usable. This article encourages us to use creative navigation that have been tested, validated and verified that the technique would actually make sense in your website. Some of the examples include: Parallax and Scrolling, Storytelling, Scrolling Navigation, Experimental Navigation Menus, Breadcrumbs and Sliding Sections.

This article was very inspiring and interesting. It opened up my design choices as well as expanding on my understanding of what is possible on the web. I learned that creative navigation should not be something to be avoided but in order for it to work, there has to be an emphasis on consistency, use of clear label and appropriate descriptions to clarify when necessary.

This article basically shows the ten most common type of sites — Blogs, New sites, E-commerce, Information & references, Corporate, Community/Social Networking, Event, Review, Gallery and Personal. It also explains and compares the different ways of setting the navigation that could work such as categories, tabbed navigation, header navigation, sidebar navigation and the footer navigation. It also talks about consistency within the design regardless of what kind of site and navigation being used.

It gave me a lot of website inspirations and ideas on the different ways I could go about with the navigation for the web.

3.http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/01/11/the-case-against-vertical-navigation/

This is an article that explains the writer’s reasons against using the vertical navigation layout in web design.  He brings up some points that on how the vertical navigation layout is not as successful and states that it wastes valuable space and does not draw enough attention as often as the top sections of the page as people are accustomed to reading content that is between the header and footer and the vertical navigation layout is an usual and unique element to web design. These disadvantages along with some others, outweighs the benefits of simplifying the ability to update navigation links.

It made me take note and be more aware of the disadvantages and advantages in choosing between a vertical or horizontal navigation layout.

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