Gravity Blog

Home / Blog / Website Navigation

Website Navigation Change

If you haven't noticed, the main navigation menu on this site has changed from a 3D fold down idea, to a slightly more traditional left menu - with a bit of fun.

But why? It was so three dimensional and foldy!

Indeed. But it wasn't very helpful for deep navigation. I've been thinking on our product offerings, and I realised that while that menu was interesting because it was unusual - it had some obvious drawbacks. So with the planned addition of pages, it just wasn't going to cut it.

Which leads me to think on navigation as a whole. The purpose of website navigation is to enable website viewers (you) to get around the website. Byproducts of effective navigation include viewers being able to see what sort of content you have on the website, and having some idea of what the page they're about to click on contains.

This was one of the drawbacks of the 3D menu Gravity Tech started out with. On small phone screens, the menu didn't show page names; all that you could see were icons. And while I understood what the icons meant, that doesn't mean that everyone will.

There has been a lot of research and studies into effective navigation, with results ranging on the maximum number of top level pages to have; to whether or not you should use drop-down/nested menus on your primary navigation. (If you're interested, the answer to the first one is 7, and the result of having drop-down/nested navigation is that people tend to skip the top level page entirely.)

Another important realisation I had as I worked on content, is that if you were halfway down a long page, you were stranded. Lost in a sea of text. So now the menu button stays with you. Like a faithful dog.